France hits target of 20 million first Covid-19 vaccinations, says PM

France has administered the first doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 20 million people, reaching its target days ahead of the reopening of catering businesses and cultural venues, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday.

Castex announced on Twitter the hitting of the 20-million mark, a number that represents some 30 per cent of the population, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"This is a very important moment for the whole country because it supports our prospects for ending the crisis, reinforced by the evolution of the epidemic data, which is regressing everywhere in France," Castex said earlier in the day during a visit to the mass vaccination site at the Porte de Versailles conference center in Paris.

"The next target is 30 million first doses. It is within our reach," he added.

Covid-19 hospital admissions continued to decline in France on Saturday. In the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalized patients went down by 456 to 22,950 patients, continuing a negative trend for the second week in a row.

The number of intensive care patients, a key gauge to evaluate the health system's ability to cope with the epidemic, fell by 81 to 4,271.

Since the epidemic outbreak, France has confirmed 5.86 million cases and 107,535 deaths. The two indicators grew by 15,685 and 112 in one day respectively.

From May 19, non-essential shops will reopen in France. Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to take in half of their capacity on terraces with a maximum of six people per table. Museums, theatres, cinemas and sport facilities will also reopen, with a limit of 800 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors.

--IANS

int/rs


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel