The number of confirmed new Covid-19 deaths in France rose sharply in the last 24 hours, according to French health ministry data published on Saturday, as many continue to flout lockdown restrictions.
Deaths in hospitals in France from Covid-19 rose by 359 over the previous 24 hours to reach a total of 44,246 so far, with the number of new daily cases at 32,095 to reach a total of 1,954,599.
The record number of contaminations per day in France hit 82,852 just one week ago.
Many are still ignoring strict lockdown rules, however. Over the weekend, the organiser of a clandestine party that brought together hundreds of people near Paris, in defiance of the confinement, and which had degenerated, along with the owner of the pavilion where it was held, were taken into custody, according to French news agency AFP.
The two men were arrested after the party as organised on Friday night "in total disregard of health rules" in the Val-de-Marne just outside Paris, in a private residence.
Alerted by residents, police intervened to interrupt this private and clandestine party but were assault by what they described as "obviously very greedy" partygoers.
Unhappy with the intervention, party-goers threw bottles at the policemen, police said.
The officers then used gas grenades to disengage them and evacuated the guests.
One man was injured during the party and taken to hospital. He later tested positive for Covid-19.
In a press release, the Prefecture of Police invited all those present "to get tested as soon as possible and to isolate themselves at least until they received the results of their tests.
Confinement has been in place since 31 October in France, where the number of deaths has reached a total of 44,246 since the start of the pandemic.