The French Health Ministry on Thursday reported the number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 fell by 24 from Wednesday, to 5 705, the first decrease in eight days.

France also counted 71 944 deaths in hospitals due to the virus, up 343 from the previous day, while the number of people in hospital for COVID-19 was down by 349 to 30 555.

France also reported 84 999 new infections, although the total was from several days following recent data collection problems.

It said the figure included 30 785 new cases from Wednesday, 49 754 from Tuesday and 1 542 from Monday, which was a public holiday in France.

The rest were from previous days.

The Ministry has repeatedly struggled to publish up-to-date data on the outbreak and vaccinations.