By Yusuf Ozcan and Cindi Cook
PARIS (AA) - France announced 231 new deaths in the last 24 hours due to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,331.
Health Minister Jerome Salomon said the virus cases now numbered at 25,233 in the country after 2,933 new cases were reported.
Among the cases, 2,827 people were under intensive care, with 59 of being between 60 and 80 years old.
Salomon said that 3,900 people recovered from the virus and that 86% of the people who died of the virus were older than 70.
He said that since March 9, 8,723 tests had been carried out.
Emphasizing that the number of beds in intensive care units had been raised from 5,000 to 8,000, Salomon noted that the regions most affected by the epidemic were Ile-de-France, Grand Est and Auvergne-Rhone Alpes, including the capital Paris.
Speaking in front of a makeshift military field hospital set up in Mulhouse in the Grand-Est region bordering Germany, President Emmanuel Macron said the virus cases now numbered at 25,233 in the country after 2,933 new cases were reported. The region has been hard by the virus.
Macron praised and thanked all healthcare workers repeatedly, recognizing that they have been consumed by high numbers of COVID-19 cases.
"In this war, all of our caregivers are on the front line," he said, in remembrance of those doctors who recently died from the disease.
"I want to salute the memory of the caregivers who paid with their lives for their commitment to save other lives," he said.
Macron promised a "massive investment and upgrading plan" for hospitals, that will be "deep and lasting" which will include increased overtime hours and bonuses for all nursing staff and civil servants.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit in Ankara