Number of COVID patients in intensive care in France at highest level this year

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Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19 patients at the Clinique de l'Estree - ELSAN private hospital in Stains, near Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of people with COVID-19 in French intensive care units rose by 84 on Tuesday to a new 2021 high of 4,634, health ministry data showed.

But the number of new infections, at 14,678, was the lowest since Jan. 3, excluding Mondays, when case numbers dip because fewer tests are done over the weekend.

A third of France's population, including the Paris region, has since Friday been under a lockdown that is due to last four weeks. Experts generally say it takes two weeks for restrictive measures to take effect.

The total number of people in hospital for COVID-19 rose by 268 to at 26,756, the highest since Feb. 11.

The COVID-19 death toll rose by 287 to 92,908, the seventh-highest in the world.

(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Kevin Liffey)