France registered 26,362 new novel coronavirus cases, bringing its tally to over 3.25 million, health authorities said Wednesday. 

Another 358 people lost the battle against the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to 77,595.

A total of 27,955 people are being treated at hospitals, 3,277 of whom are in intensive care, while the number of recoveries has risen by 1,576 to 228,472.

The number of people who have been vaccinated since Dec. 27 last year has exceeded 1.61 million, according to Health Ministry data.

President Emmanuel Macron said earlier that the French people can be vaccinated by the end of the summer, as in other European countries, adding that 80% of those staying in nursing homes will be vaccinated by the beginning of March.

He also said Tuesday that four pharmaceutical companies in the country will start producing the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and CureVac vaccines in late February or early March.

The EU, which has a population of around 450 million, signed advanced purchase agreements with six vaccine producers — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline — to buy about 2.3 billion vaccine doses.

Since first emerging in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 2.26 million lives in 192 countries and regions, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

More than 104.2 million cases and over 57.8 million recoveries have been reported worldwide.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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