The  novel Coronavirus has killed another 240 people in France, the top French health official said on Tuesday, bringing the death count in the country from the pandemic to 1,100.

Jerome Salomon said that 22,300 people had tested positive for the virus in France, with a total of 10,176 hospitalised of whom 2,516 people are in intensive care, according to the media reports.

Salomon also emphasised that the death count of 1,100 includes only those recorded to have died of the coronavirus in hospitals and not those who pass away in old people’s homes.

Last week, the lockdown imposed in France to battle the coronavirus should last at least six weeks in total, according to the committee of scientific experts on Tuesday.

The council of doctors and sociologists was created by the health ministry to advise President Emmanuel Macron and the government on the best way to combat the coronavirus.

While speaking after talks with the experts at the Elysee Palace, Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the figure of six weeks was an “estimation” and no one knew at this stage how long the confinement would last.

The lockdown, already in place for a week nationwide, orders all in France to stay inside except for essential trips outside such as shopping.

According to the experts said, the lockdown was currently the “sole strategy that is realistic in operational terms”.

Other strategies like mass testing or isolating all those who may have the virus were not realisable on a national scale, experts further added.

The death toll from the pandemic has surpassed 16,000 people worldwide, and the virus has sickened more than 370,000.

A surge in infections has caused a critical shortage of medical supplies in many places. The hunt for ventilators and other critical items is consuming Europe and the US.

(With inputs from agency)