France registers over 40,000 virus cases

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France has registered 40,558 new coronavirus cases after 36,330 on Tuesday and a record 52,518 on Monday.

The nation's total number of cases has increased to 1,543,321 but government officials say Wednesday's new case figure is a minimum that could increase due to problems with data gathering.

They also say the number of virus deaths increased by 385 to 38,674, compared with 854 on Tuesday.

However the fatalities include a multi-day batch of 428 deaths in retirement homes. Health officials said there were 394 new deaths in hospitals over the previous 24 hours.

The highest number of COVID-19 deaths reported per day in French hospitals and retirement homes since the start of the epidemic was 1438 on April 15.

The seven-day moving average of deaths increased to 413 from 393 on Tuesday.

The number of people in intensive care with the virus increased by 211 to 4,089, the first time this tally exceeded 4000 since April.

At the height of the outbreak, on April 8, a record 7,148 COVID-19 patients were in ICU.

The number of people in hospital with the virus rose by 1269 to 27,534, about 5000 below the 32,292 high.