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Some 12,612 people have now been confirmed to have been infected, but authorities warn the real figure could be a lot higher.

In face of these developments, Cannes municipal authorities said the venue, which usually houses congresses and art events, has been handed over to accommodate up to 50 people living on the street in what they saw as "a symbol of solidarity."

"Currently, the priority is confinement and the confinement of the most vulnerable," said Dominique Aude-Lasset, deputy director general of Cannes urban services.

Beds, meals and showers will be made available in line with regulations regarding social distancing during the virus-related confinement across France.

Television will also be provided, while temperature and baggage checks will be carried out at the entrance, Aude-Lasset said.

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