PARIS, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- France has recorded 20,262 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour span, raising the cumulative number of confirmed cases since the start of the epidemic to 2,547,771, according to figures released on Friday by health authorities.
Another 159 people have succumbed to the disease in the 24 hours, bringing the total fatalities in France to 62,427, official data showed.
A good sign is that the numbers of both hospitalized COVID-19 patients and those in intensive care kept dropping, data showed.
On Christmas day, 24,392 COVID-19 patients remained hospitalized in France, 247 less than a day before. Among them, 2,625 were in intensive care, down by 27 in one day.
France is preparing for the launch of the vaccination campaign. Only 40 percent of French people surveyed said "they certainly or probably want to be vaccinated" against the coronavirus, according to the weekly epidemiological update of Public Health France published on Thursday evening.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.
According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Dec. 22, there were 233 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 61 of them were in clinical trials. Enditem