Coronavirus cases in France rose by 22,180 Tuesday as the number of daily deaths declined.

The total number of infections now stands at 1,829,659.

Some 472 new fatalities were reported, down 79 from the previous day, with the death toll standing at 42,207, according to the Ministry of Health.

The overall downward trend is a positive sign after coronavirus numbers went through the roof each day last week, reaching a peak Saturday evening at an unbelievable 86,852 cases.

Hospitalizations over the last 24 hours totaled 20,921, up by 858, with 3,095 of those remaining in intensive care, up by only four from the previous day.

Some 99 departments throughout France remain in a vulnerable position with 3,042 clusters of infection considered serious, the latter number rising by 656 over the previous day.

The rate of COVID-19 infections skyrocketed last week, with health professionals concerned over the severity of the second wave.

France now has the fourth highest number of infections in the world behind the US, India and Brazil.

France’s Director General of Health Jerome Salomon maintained at a press conference Monday that the country is on the precipice of a peak in the COVID-19 pandemic, warning that “we are at a crucial moment” and calling for continued vigilance.

The country remains in a second nationwide lockdown that will continue until Dec. 1 unless statistics on infections and deaths drastically improve.

Worldwide, the death toll from COVID-19 stands at almost 1.3 million in 190 countries since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China late December last year.

The number of infections totals over 51.2 million, according to the latest figures from US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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