Covid-19: France logs more than 18,800 new daily cases, deaths reach 80,000

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France reached a grim milestone Tuesday as it logged a total of more than 80,000 deaths from Covid-19, ranking an unenviable seventh-highest in the world for deaths from the virus. But while new confirmed cases were up at 18, 870, compared to Monday’s 4,317 figure, there were hopeful indicators as the case count trend remained steady and hospital numbers fell again after a two-day increase.

France reported 18,870 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, up from Monday's 4,317 but well down from the previous Tuesday's 23,337, and hospital numbers fell again after a two-day rise.

The seven-day moving average of new Covid-19 infections, which evens out daily reporting irregularities, stands at 19,348, staying in the 19,200-20,700 range it has been in since Jan 20.

This seven-day moving average has now stayed in a tight 19,200-20,700 range for almost three weeks, a trend that seems to warrant the government's decision not to resort to a third lockdown despite health experts calling for it.

Earlier in the day, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the Covid-19 situation was stable and it was possible that France might not have to resort to another lockdown, after imposing two last year, to try and rein in the pandemic.

Unlike some of its neighbours, France has eschewed a third national lockdown, hoping that a curfew in place since Dec. 15 and a vaccination programme that has now given shots to more than two million people will be enough to rein in contagion.

After reaching a more-than two-month high on Monday, the total number of patients treated in intensive care units (ICUs) for the respiratory disease fell by 21 to 3,342.

The number of people in France who have died from Covid-19 infections rose by 724, to 80,147 - the seventh-highest death toll globally - versus 458 on Monday and a seven-day moving average of 416.