Number of COVID patients in intensive care rises in France

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Paris
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PARIS (Reuters) - France reported on Sunday a rise in the number of patients with COVID-19 in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) as President Emmanuel Macron's government seeks signs of an end to the nation's third wave of infections.

Health ministry data showed there had been a further 145 COVID-19 deaths in hospitals in the last 24 hours, while the number of patients with the virus in ICUs rose to 5,978 from 5,958 the previous day.

There were also 24,465 new COVID cases.

France's overall coronavirus death toll stands at 102,858, the eighth highest in the world.

France, the euro zone's second biggest economy, entered into its third national lockdown at the end of March after suffering a spike in COVID deaths and case numbers during that month.

Macron is hoping the effects of that lockdown, along with an accelerated vaccination campaign, will improve France's COVID figures, which would then allow certain businesses and leisure activities - such as outdoors dining - to reopen in mid May.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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