France's daily Covid-19 infections hit more than six-week high
Total number of French cases now sixth-highest in world
France's average daily number of new Covid-19 infections hit a more than six-week high of 18,270 on Monday, while the number of people being treated in intensive care units rose above 2,800 for the first time in a month.
Unlike Britain or Germany, France's government has so far stopped short of imposing a third national lockdown.
But a nationwide curfew was moved earlier, to start at 6pm, on Saturday and authorities say it will remain for at least a fortnight to slow the spread of the disease.
Prime Minister Jean Castex reaffirmed that a new lockdown could be imposed if the situation worsened.
Recent polls show that French overwhelmingly think such a measure will eventually be needed.
"My only concern is to take the right decisions at the right time," Mr Castex said. "We monitor the pandemic's evolution on a daily basis.
The French Health Ministry reported 3,736 new coronavirus infections over the previous 24 hours on Monday, a figure lower than Sunday's 16,642 but higher than last Monday's 3,582.
France's total number of cases is now 2,914,725, the sixth highest in the world.
The number of people admitted to hospital with the disease went up by 350 to 25,619, the highest since December 8.
The number of people being treated in intensive care units increased for a ninth consecutive day.
The death toll rose by 404, at 70,687, the world's seventh highest, compared with 141 on Sunday and a seven-day moving average of 375.
Updated: January 19, 2021 02:12 AM