Coronavirus: France reports 545 COVID-19 deaths in biggest toll since April 20

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France reported the most daily COVID-19 deaths since April, the same day a lockdown came into effect aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

An additional 545 people died from the virus, bringing the total to 36,565, France’s public health agency said on its website on Friday. Confirmed cases rose by 49,215 to 1.33 million, the second-biggest increase, trailing only that of October 25.

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The country has closed bars, restaurants, and non-essential services until at least December, while allowing schools and most businesses to operate. President Emmanuel Macron says the goal is to protect public health while avoiding another debilitating blow to the economy.

The government plans to spend an additional 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion) preparing hospitals for the disease, which Macron said may cause 9,000 patients to fall critically ill by mid-November.

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