PARIS 

Saturday brought somber news for France as cases of infection of the novel coronavirus took a major jump.

According to France’s Health Ministry, infections were registered at 26,896 nationwide on Saturday. This supersedes 20,339 cases recorded on Friday, which had been the biggest one-day jump since the end of lockdown in May.

Since the start of record-keeping for the disease, a total of 718,873 cases of infection have been logged in France.

There were 54 additional fatalities, compared to 62 on Friday, with the death toll currently standing at 32,684.

Hospitalizations are recorded at 4,999 with 928 patients in intensive care.

Government and health officials in France have pulled out all the stops to remedy a situation that seems to be spinning out of control.

To stem the spread of the virus in social gatherings, Ile-de-France officials last week announced the closing of cafes and bars for two weeks, as well as all restaurants to close by 10 p.m. (0800GMT). The virus has spread in the region, along with Aix-Marseille and the overseas territory of Guadeloupe, which had seen the same restrictions put in place the week prior.

Some 70 departments throughout France remain in a vulnerable situation while 1,446 active clusters of infection have been identified throughout the country.

Worldwide, cases of infections are reported at just over 37 million and fatalities around 1.07 million in 188 countries, according to the latest figures from the US-based Johns Hopkins University. Some 25.71 million have recovered from the disease.

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