France reported 833 new coronavirus deaths during the past day, the highest daily toll since the start of its epidemic.
The total number of people who died after a positive test for Covid-19 now stands at 8,911, while the number of infections is 98,010.
“We have not reached the end of the end of the rise of this epidemic,” warned the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.
The daily death toll in Italy also increased on Monday after several days of slowing, but that of Spain fell for a fourth day.
This happened when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to intensive care in a London hospital after his Covid-19 symptoms got worse.
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Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the pandemic was the biggest challenge the European Union had ever faced and that her government was ready to help help the bloc economically.
What are the latest figures from France?
Data released by the French Ministry of Health on Monday evening showed that 605 people died in hospitals in the past 24 hours and another 228 died in retirement homes – both increases of 10%.
” It is not finished. Far from there. The path is long. The figures that I have announced show it, “said Mr. Véran. “Stay at home and continue this containment effort. “
There is nevertheless good news, the number of people treated in intensive care only increasing by 1.3% to 7,072.
Véran said the government would also begin a “large-scale operation” to filter rest homes, which account for 27% of the death toll, to better protect residents.
The French Minister for Equality, Marlène Schiappa, said that a telephone line for abuse had been set up for perpetrators of domestic violence to seek help, while families struggled under the stroke of isolation.
What’s going on elsewhere in Europe?
The pandemic has killed more than 50,000 people on the continent.
The death toll in Italy is the highest in the world, with 16,523 deaths.
The Italian government reported 636 new deaths on Monday. It’s 111 more than Sunday’s toll – the lowest since March 19 – but 45 less than Saturday’s.
The number of new infections increased by 1,941, but continued its downward trend.
In Spain, the second most affected country in the world, the daily number of deaths continued to drop, raising hopes that it would have passed the peak of the epidemic. The increase of 637 on Monday – the smallest in 13 days – means that 13,055 people died in total.
María José Sierra, deputy head of the Spanish Health Emergencies Committee, said the rate of growth of the epidemic appeared to be slowing “in almost all regions”.
In the UK, the Department of Health said Monday that an additional 439 people died in hospital after being tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 5,373.
It was the second day in a row that the number fell. But Professor Dame Angela McLean, the government’s deputy science advisor, said it was too early to say whether social distancing was working and the epidemic was slowing down.
At the same time, the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, announced his intention to reopen primary schools from April 15, with the aim of gradually easing the foreclosure.
But she warned that this would only happen if people followed current measures and the number of infections remained stable.
“It will probably be a bit like walking on a tightrope. If we stand still along the way, we could fall and if we go too fast, it can go wrong. Therefore, we must take one careful step at a time, “she said in a briefing. .
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has also said he plans to ease restrictions, including allowing some non-essential stores to reopen after Easter.
What does the German Chancellor say?
By Damien McGuinness, BBC News, Berlin
“Germany will only do good if Europe is doing well,” Angela Merkel said on Monday. It was a clear call for solidarity with the countries of southern Europe, hard hit by the pandemic. Germany will play its part, she said, both in providing emergency aid and in rebuilding the economy.
But that means exactly a heated debate in Germany and it opens up old wounds. During the financial crisis a decade ago, Berlin and other northern European countries believed that “Eurobonds” – sharing debt with the weakest economies in southern Europe – undermined the credibility of the entire euro area.
This position is still held by the government of Merkel, who wants to create an EU bailout fund and lend using the mechanisms put in place during the financial crisis.
But the mood is changing in Germany. Economists, politicians and commentators who once spoke out against pooling eurozone debt to bail out Greece are asking for exactly that to help southern Europe cope with the coronavirus crisis .