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French coronavirus cases reach record level with nearly 17,000 new infections

A health worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, holds a plastic bag with nasal swab test tubes at a testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Thouare-sur-Loire near Nantes, France, September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - France reported nearly 17,000 new confirmed coronavirus infections on Saturday, about 5,000 more than on the previous day, setting a new daily record.

The number of infections rose by 16,972 to a total of 606,625 cases, the health ministry said, more than the previous record of 16,096 registered last week.

The number of deaths increased by 49 to 32,198.

There were 4,087 new cases of people being hospitalised over the last seven days, including 849 in intensive care units. The figures are relatively stable compared with the previous report on Friday.

The rate of positive coronavirus tests in France rose to 7.9% from 7.7% on Friday.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Nicolas Delame; Editing by Giles Elgood and Hugh Lawson