Paris (People's Daily) -- France now has 25,233 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, including an increase of 2,933 in the past 24 hours, said Jerome Salomon, the director of France's public health agency, at a daily press conference.
Across the country, 11,539 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, including 2,827 in a serious condition, said Salomon.
President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday, “a massive investment and upgrading plan for the hospital,” referring to an army field hospital in Mulhouse, which receives patients with COVID-19.
He also announced the granting of an exceptional bonus for nursing staff.
France has been under a strict lockdown since March 17, when Macron announced restrictive measures, including fines for people violating the rules. The lockdown was initially expected to last 15 days.
The French scientific council, which advises the French president on the COVID-19 crisis, said a lockdown to contain the epidemic should stay in place for six weeks after being implemented.
French Prime Minister Philippe said after a ministerial meeting in Paris on Wednesday that France is in a “health emergency” and the government has passed up to 25 laws to deal with the “long-term impacts” of the epidemic in France.
A government spokesman told the media after the meeting that the government would announce an extension of the current 15-day national lockdown within the next few days.