WHO reports record high number of Covid-19 cases over weekend

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The World Health Organization's coronavirus dashboard on Sunday showed a record daily number of new Covid-19 cases over the weekend as France registered 27,228 new cases and a further 302 deaths over the past 24 hours, according to health ministry data.

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The WHO's figures for Saturday showed that 660,905 coronavirus cases were reported to the UN health agency, setting a new high watermark.

That number, and the 645,410 registered on Friday, surpassed the previous daily record high of 614,013 recorded on November 7.

Within Saturday's new case numbers, the WHO's Americas region registered a one-day record high of 269,225 new confirmed cases.

Within each week, the pattern of cases being reported to the WHO tends to peak towards Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and dip around Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the WHO's figures, there have been more than 53.7 million confirmed cases of the disease in total since the start of the pandemic, while over 1.3 million people have lost their lives.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Friday that there was "a long way to go" in getting the virus under control globally.

France sees slight fall in new case rate

France meanwhile registered 27,228 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and a further 302 deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Sunday, although there were signs of a fall in the rate of new cases.

France has now recorded 1,981,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases in all, while 44,548 people have died from the virus - the seventh-highest death toll in the world.

Nevertheless, the data marked a slight decrease compared with the previous day's Covid-19 figures in terms of new confirmed cases and deaths.

France is in the middle of its second, national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, following its March-May shutdown.

President Emmanuel Macron's government has set a December 1 deadline for this lockdown, although the government has said it could extend it beyond that if it feels the numbers are not falling fast enough.

The government is coming under pressure from shops and businesses to loosen restrictions in time for the Christmas shopping period.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)