PARIS: The number of new coronavirus cases in France neared 30,000 on Saturday (Mar 13) while the number of people to receive their first vaccine injection topped 5 million, health ministry data showed.
With the government struggling to contain the spread, France reported 29,759 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, up from 25,229 the previous day, the data showed.
The number of people to have died from the virus in hospitals rose by 169 to a total 64,978 while the number of people in intensive care units edged higher by 37 to 4,070, as pressure grows on French hospitals amid rising case numbers.
France has the world's sixth-highest total of COVID-19 cases, just behind Britain.
France's vaccination programme has been beset by logistical bottlenecks and problems with deliveries from vaccine makers.
The health ministry said 241,814 people had received a first vaccination shot on Saturday, bringing the total to 5,061,738 or 7.6 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, 2,236,066 had received two injections.