France posts new record daily COVID-19 infections

·1-min read
People arrive at Paris Gare de Lyon railway station ahead of Christmas

PARIS (Reuters) -France hit another COVID-19 infection record on Friday, with the daily figure getting close to 100,000, a trend that prompted the government to convene a special meeting on the pandemic on Monday which could trigger new restrictions on movement.

Health authorities reported 94,124 new daily COVID-19 cases on Friday while the number of people hospitalised for the disease reached a seven-month high at close to 16,200, according to official data.

The seven-day moving average of new cases, which evens out weekly data reporting irregularities, also reached a new record of 66,417, a total that has tripled in just one month.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths climbed by 167 over 24 hours, bringing the total to 122,462. France's total number of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic stands at 8.98 million, the seventh highest in the world.

Earlier in the day, the French presidential palace said President Emmanuel Macron would convene a COVID-19 meeting Monday at 1500 GMT, which will be followed immediately by a cabinet meeting.

France plans to pass a law transforming its health pass needed to do some jobs and to go to cinemas and bars into a "vaccination" pass in the first half of January.

The main aim of a vaccination pass will be to do away with the option of obtaining a valid certificate by testing negative instead of having the vaccine shots.

The government is hoping that measure will be enough to contain the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the disease, which already accounts for 20% of new infections in France.

(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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