France became the first European country on Tuesday to record more than 2 million COVID-19 infections.
With 2,036,755 cases confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic, France has the fourth-highest tally in the world after the US (11.2 million), India (8.8 million) and Brazil (5.8 million).
France passed the one million cases mark on October 23 but officials have stressed that the second wave of the pandemic unfurling over the country has been “brutal”.
Health Minister Olivier Véran has, however, been emphasising this week that “the efforts of the French are paying off” — the country has been under a second four-week national lockdown since October 30. He also said the country has “passed an epidemic peak”.
Hospitals remain stretched however with more than 33,100 COVID-19 patients currently being treated, including more than 4,830 in intensive care.
The death toll has meanwhile increased by 437 to 46,273 — the third-highest in Europe behind Italy’s 46,464 and the UK’s 52,745.
Britain, which is also under a second national lockdown, recorded its highest increase in daily COVID-19 fatalities since May 6 on Tuesday with 598 deaths.