France reports 21,228 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test center in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - France reported a sharp rise in COVID-19 hospitalisations on Thursday as the government brought forward its night curfew two hours to 6 p.m. to try to slow the coronavirus.

There were 21,228 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, fewer than the 23,852 on Wednesday, while Health Ministry data showed that 282 people had died from the virus in hospitals, up from 229 on Wednesday.

The total death toll stood at 69,313 and the cumulative number of cases stood at 2,851,670.

The number of people in intensive care rose by 15 to 2,726 while the total number of patients hospitalised for the disease was up 248 over 24 hours at 25,017.

The ministry also said that to date, 318,000 people had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Editing by Franklin Paul and Nick Macfie)