As a new week starts, France saw a drastic drop in cases of infection from the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

On Monday, 8,505 cases of infection were recorded, almost half of Sunday’s number at 16,101. Since the start of record-keeping for the disease 743,479 total cases of infection have been logged. A total of 96 fatalities were logged – almost twice the previous total – with the death toll currently standing at 32,825.

A total of 5,350 people remain in hospital, up from 5,084 the prior day, with 929 patients in intensive care, up 19 from Sunday, said Health Ministry figures.

Despite the days’ positive results, France ranks high globally in cases of infections – 10th to be exact. Worldwide, cases are reported at just over 37 million and fatalities at just over 1.07 million in 188 countries, according to the latest figures from the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

Cases had been troubling, with infections skyrocketing over the weekend – to 20,339 on Friday and 26,896 on Saturday, the biggest one-day jump since the end of lockdown.

To stem the virus’ spread, health officials have placed eight of France’s major cities as well as the overseas territory of Guadeloupe on the maximum alert level, with the virus still rising sharply in the municipalities. Cafes and bars have had to close for two weeks and restaurants by 10.00 p.m.

The number of departments identified as being vulnerable rose on Monday from 70 to 74, while the number of active clusters of infection rose from 1,489 to 1,496.

President Emmanuel Macron will speak to the nation on Wednesday evening to announce new measures to bring the virus further under control.

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