France has recorded more than two million coronavirus cases and is approaching 50,000 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. President Macron ordered a second national lockdown on October 30 and data suggests the draconian measures are working with the number of infections and COVID-19 hospitalisations falling.
He is due to make an announcement on coronavirus measures to the French public on Tuesday.
BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler has drawn attention to a number of key statistics which suggest the virus could be on the retreat in France, but warned a loosening of the restrictions could trigger a third wave.
In the past week, the number of coronavirus infections has fallen to 15 percent from 20 percent, with 282.9 people per 100,000 testing positive for the virus – compared to 497 three weeks ago.
In the past seven days, France has averaged 26,673 new infections per day – lower than the weekly rolling average over the past month.
Over the previous weeks, the average figure for each day of the relevant week was 29,413, 53,344, 42,985 and 38,364.
Meanwhile, the number of patients requiring intensive care has also gradually fallen over the past seven days.
The figure has dropped to 4,582 from 4,653, 4,775, 4,854, 4,919, 4,896, 4,871.
In a post on Twitter, Ms Adler wrote: “Macron has similar dilemma to many leaders in Europe: lockdown means infections and hospitalisation are (slowly) reducing BUT do you open up for Christmas for economy/people’s well-being/political boost and risk a potential 3rd wave?”
On Saturday, the French Health Ministry reported 17,881 new infections – lower than the 22,882 cases recorded on Friday.
A further 276 deaths were also reported – lower than the 386 fatalities in the previous 24 hours.
President Macron is expected to announce a partial relaxation of nationwide lockdown rules in just over 48 hours.
Shops selling non-essential items are set to be given the green-light to begin trading again.
“Nevertheless, it’s still too early to affirm it definitively.”
Mr Delfraissy insisted he did see brighter days ahead following the emergence of multiple coronavirus vaccines.
He said: “Even though the vaccine will not solve everything and, even though 2021 will not be an ordinary year, I see light at the end of the tunnel.”