Coronavirus cases near 30,000 in France, death toll at 1,696. Image Source: IANS News

Paris, Dec 30 : With 384 additional coronavirus fatalities reported in hospitals in the past 24 hours, together with a one-week total of 585 deaths in elder houses and other social care institutions, France has lost a total 64,204 lives since the onset of the pandemic.

Besides the new deaths on Tuesday, the country also registered 11,395 new infections, taking the caseload to 2,631,110, and the number of patients currently hospitalised went up by 98 to 24,776, with those under intensive care dropping by 28 to 2,675, reports Xinhua news agency.

A resurgence in January is "probable" because of the increasing contamination during the year-end holidays, the Scientific Council, which advises the government, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, President Emmanuel Macron chaired a meeting with top ministers and health officials to discuss the health situation.

Talking to TV channel France 2 on Tuesday evening, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the government has started consultation with local elected officials in the worst-hit regions to decide on measures to be taken.

"The government has not, for now, decided to impose a new lockdown, nationally or locally," while a curfew starting from 6 p.m., two hours earlier than what is currently in place at national scale, is considered for hardest-hit regions, said the Minister.

France went into the first lockdown from March to May, followed by another less strict one from October 30 to December 14.

Businesses are now open, but a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. is in place.

Regarding the vaccination campaign launched on Sunday, Veran said more time was needed to win people's trust, adding that the campaign is based on consent.

Only four in 10 people in France want to get vaccinated against Covid-19, with fear of side effects as the most chosen reason, according to the results released on Tuesday of an Ipsos poll.

Two days after its launch, the campaign continues in France with only around 20 establishments for the elderly.

The government hopes that 15 million French people will be vaccinated by the summer of 2021.

A total of 60,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been delivered in France, and some 1 million doses are expected to arrive by the end of the year.

"Our start is much slower but our approach is in line with the reality of the doubts of the French," the Health Minister added.

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