COVID-19 infections "steadily decreasing" in France - health minister
The COVID-19 infections have been steadily decreasing for a few days in mainland France and the latest models go in the direction of stabilization in coming days and weeks, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
"The virus has been steadily decreasing" for several days, the minister told a press conference, adding that the health situation was however "tense" in the hospitals of Bouches-du-Rhone and Occitanie in the south of the country.
France now has over 11,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including some 2,200 in intensive care. The number of daily infections stood between 22,000 and 25,000 this week after a peak of over 28,000 on Aug. 17 and 18.
Without the vaccination, the fourth wave of COVID-19 "could have been the worst we have known," said the minister.
"We will have 50 million vaccinated in the first week of September," he said, urging the still-hesitant to get vaccinated. Some 48 million people in France have so far received at least one vaccine dose.
"The top priority is the 2 million elderly or sick people who have not yet been vaccinated," he said.
The minister also announced the rollout of a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for over-65s and vulnerable people from mid-September. The general population can make appointments for a booster jab starting next week.