PARIS

Friday saw a significant dip in coronavirus infections in France, along with hospitalizations.

A total of 23,794 new cases were recorded, compared to 33,172 on Thursday, a drop of 9,378 infections. Confirmed cases since record-keeping began now stand at 1,922,504 million.

Hospitalizations dropped as well, with 17,895 reported, with 2,882 of those patients in intensive care, a number trending downward in recent days.

Fatalities were also down, with 467 deaths, compared to Thursday’s number of 418. The death toll stands at 43,892.

Friday marked two weeks of a second nationwide lockdown in France and descending numbers might give hope that the spread of the virus is abating.

A hopeful statistic reported this week is the reproduction rate, which dropped below 1 to 0.93 for the first time since July, according to authorities.

The reproduction rate is the rate at which the virus is passed from person-to-person, ideally held below 1.

Ninety-nine departments throughout the country remain in a vulnerable position with 3,698 clusters of infections considered serious.

Worldwide, the death toll from the virus stands at a little more than 1.3 million in 191 countries since emanating from China in late December 2019. The number of infections nears 53.2 million, according to figures from US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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