By Cindi Cook

PARIS (AA) – France reported a record increase in novel coronavirus cases on Thursday, with 16,096 infections in the past 24 hours.

Total cases in the country now stand at 497,237, confirmed the Ministry of Health, with the most single-day infections since the end of lockdown in the country.

There were 52 new fatalities since Wednesday, with the death toll currently at 31,511.

Hospitalizations have risen as well to 4,258, with 718 of those in intensive care.

Worldwide, the death toll from COVID-19 stands at more than 979,000 in 188 countries, while the number of infections is just over 32 million and recoveries exceed 22 million, according to the latest figures from US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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