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France coronavirus deaths jump by 112 in a day as death toll reaches 674

France's director general of health Jerome Salomon holds a press conference on Sunday March 22, 2020, to announce the latest developments in the fight against coronavirus.
France's director general of health Jerome Salomon holds a press conference on Sunday March 22, 2020, to announce the latest developments in the fight against coronavirus. © France 24 screengrab

France reported a daily jump of 112 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, taking the nationwide death toll since the start of the pandemic to 674.

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The French Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon on Sunday evening told a press conference that the number of confirmed infections in France now stood at 16,018, compared to 14,459 from the previous day.

"The virus kills and it is continuing to kill," said Salomon.

Among the confirmed coronavirus cases, 7,240 have been hospitalised, of whom 1,746 were in intensive care with 35 percent of these aged under 65. 

Late on Sunday the French Parliament adopted a bill allowing the establishment of a "state of health emergency" granting additional powers to the government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

France went into lockdown on March 17 with around 100,000 police and gendarmes deployed across the country to enforce the new measures, with people only allowed to leave home for officially sanctioned reasons such as going to work, shopping for necessities or getting medical treatment.

The fast-spreading disease that jumped from animals to humans in China has now infected 328,275 people across the world and caused 14,366 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, triggering emergency lockdowns and injections of cash unseen since World War Two.

On Sunday, Italy said that 5,476 people had died from the virus there, a third of the world's total as the number of COVID-19 infections neared 60,000. 

Italian health officials voiced cautious hope after daily deaths edged back from Saturday's grisly 793 to a slightly less startling 651. The Italian government announced Sunday that it would ban travel within the country in yet another attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Spain recorded 394 new deaths from the disease taking its death toll to 1,756.

The UK government said it would introduce 'shielding measures' to protect 1.5 million who are most at risk from the virus because of underlying health conditions. The number of cases in the country has reached 5,683, with 281 deaths.

Coronavirus is now affecting more than 160 countries.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) it took more than three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases globally, but only 12 days to reach the next 100,000.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

 

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