France passes landmark of one million coronavirus cases

It is the second nation in Western Europe after Spain to reach the number.

French President Emmanuel Macron (Charles Platiau/AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron (Charles Platiau/AP)

France has surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, becoming the second country in Western Europe after Spain to reach the mark.

The national health agency announced 42,032 new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 1.04 million cases.

Health experts say the actual numbers are likely higher because of a lack of testing, asymptomatic cases and reporting issues.

French President Emmanuel Macron called on citizens to respect a nightly curfew and other measures to fight the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Macron says cases are “very strongly accelerating”, with coronavirus patients occupying more than 42% of ICU beds nationally and 64% in the Paris region.

The government announced a six-week curfew from 9pm to 6am in 46 regions and Polynesia.

France has more than 34,200 deaths, the fourth-highest death toll in Europe behind Britain, Italy and Spain.

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