France COVID-19 cases close to a million, curfew measures extended

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Police officers patrol in the streets of Lille during the start of the late-night curfew due to restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lille
Police officers patrol in the streets of Lille during the start of the late-night curfew due to restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lille

PARIS (Reuters) - French health authorities reported 41,622 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over 24 hours on Thursday, an all-time daily high that brings the total of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic just shy of a million, at 999,043.

That tally was published shortly after Prime Minister Jean Castex said the country would widen a curfew to more than two thirds of its population to contain the disease, warning that time was running out to slow the spread of infection and avoid even tougher measures.

The number of people hospitalised for the disease grew by 847 at 14,032, increasing by more than 800 in one day for the first time since April 6, when France when in the midst of a two-month lockdown.

The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 infections was up by 162, at 34,210, a figure above a months-high seven-day moving average of 155.

On Friday, France will become the second Western European country after Spain to have more than one million COVID-19 cases.

(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese and Chizu Nomiyama)