By Cindi Cook
PARIS (AA) - France on Saturday reported 45,422 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day spike in the country, the Health Ministry said.
According to the ministry, the total number of cases in the country topped 1.08 million.
Also today, France's National Assembly also approved a bill that will extend the current state of emergency until Feb. 16, 2021. The bill will now be submitted to the Senate on Wednesday. It is expected to be passed by beginning of November.
The state of emergency -- passed by a vote of 71 to 35 -- could be extended until April 1 if so decided by the assembly at that time. It acts as an official government decree and will stay in place for a month.
Government officials will have the authority to enact stricter measures where and when they deem fit, such as the curfew or localized lockdowns in cities and towns.
The number of fatalities dropped on Saturday, recorded at 138, down by 46 over Friday. The death toll in the country has reached 34,645.
At least 11,713 people remain hospitalized with intensive care patients now recorded at 1,772, a jump of 58 patients over the last 24 hours.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced to place under nightly curfew 38 more departments within the country.
They will now join the nine other departments currently at the maximum security level.
Health Minister Olivier Veran on Saturday warned that the load will "grow heavier in the coming days and weeks, whatever we do."
He added that the bill is a "text of responsibility to enable us to actively protect the French in this period, which will be long and difficult."