A pandemic has swept France, with more than 4 million deaths reported in the last few weeks, according to official statistics.
The official death toll is rising rapidly as the country braces for a massive influx of people fleeing war and economic hardship, but the number of confirmed deaths is still only about 5 percent of the 3.3 million total.
The new tally, released Friday, shows more than 5.5 million people have died, with 3.2 million confirmed, the state broadcaster France Info reported.
France’s state of emergency, which has been in place since the beginning of March, is being extended to July, while some provinces are also asking for permission to extend the time that it is in effect.
The government said that in the latest six months, the death toll has risen by 10 percent in Paris and by 15 percent in the other provinces, and by more than 50 percent in Brittany, where more than 300,000 people have been affected by the outbreak.
In a statement Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was « profoundly surprised » by the rapid increase in death tolls, and urged French authorities to do everything possible to help the country recover.
The Parisian government has already warned that the outbreak could « wipe out » the entire population in a few months, and a total of 12.2 percent of French nationals have died since the start of March.
The World Health Organization has warned that some 1.2 billion people could die in France by 2020 if the outbreak continues unchecked.