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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - PARIS — France has become only the third nation in western Europe to pass the milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19.
The country recorded a further 296 fatalities on Thursday, taking it over the threshold.
"We will not forget any face, any name," said France's president, Emmanuel Macron.
"Since the start of the pandemic, 100,000 French women and men have succumbed to the virus. We all have a thought for their families, their loved ones, for the children who have lost a parent or a grandparent, the bereaved siblings, the broken friendships."
Italy and the United Kingdom are the only other countries in western Europe to have notched up a six-figure death toll.
It comes with the country on partial lockdown and trying to speed up a sluggish vaccine rollout.
Measures include closing schools, a domestic travel ban, and shutting most nonessential shops.
An overnight nationwide curfew has been in place since mid-December, and all France's restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas and museums have been closed since October.
Schools are set to gradually reopen starting April 26. The government is anticipating that other restrictions will start being lifted around mid-May.
Macron was meeting Thursday with officials to get the nation prepared for the gradual reopening.
Authorities expect that 20 million people, about 38% of France's adult population, will have received at least one vaccine shot by that time, up from 11 million now.
France has reported the most confirmed coronavirus infections in Europe, more than 5.2 million.
The total number of coronavirus patients in intensive care in France surged past 5,900 this week. — Euronews
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