The French health ministry reported 19,348 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Friday, slightly less than Thursday’s 19,927 and well below Wednesday’s more than one-month high of 26,457 but still far from the government’s target of less than 5,000 daily additional infections.
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France’s cumulative total of cases now stands at 2,639,773, the fifth highest in the world. The COVID-19 death toll was up by 133 at 64,765.
France will impose an earlier curfew in 15 northeastern and southeastern departments from Saturday to combat the spread of the coronavirus, starting at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., the government said on Friday.
President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that everyone in France should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they want it, amidst broad criticism over the slowness of the vaccination program.