By Lizzie Day • 31 March 2020 • 21:24
France has reported its worst day yet with a record 499 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, taking the country’s total death toll to 3,523.
This marks the biggest jump in deaths since the start of the pandemic. France has a total of 52,128 cases of COVID-19, according to official figures.
There are now 22,757 people hospitalised in France with COVID-19, with 5,565 of them in intensive care, health official Jerome Salomon told reporters in his daily update.
The French death toll includes only those who died in hospital and not those who died at home or in old people’s homes.
France is rushing to produce millions of face masks and thousands of ventilators as reliance on imports to fight the coronavirus has exposed the country’s need for ‘independence’ in producing vital medical equipment, President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday.
‘We have to rebuild our national and European sovereignty,’ Macron said as he visited a surgical mask factory in Saint-Barthelemy-d’Anjou, near Angers in western France, where he donned a mask, coveralls and a plastic hairnet to tour the facility.
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