PARIS (Reuters) – France said its total number of deaths from COVID-19 infections exceeded 15,000 on Tuesday, becoming the fourth country to exceed this threshold after Italy, Spain and the United States, while the rate of increase in cases and deaths is re-accelerating.
But the number of people in intensive care units fell to 6,730 from 6,821 in 24 hours – down for a sixth consecutive day, suggesting that the national lockdown put in place on March 17 somewhat succeeds in containing the sickness.
On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron announced a second extension of the lockdown until May 11, saying that progress had been made but also that the country was not sufficiently prepared at the outset to overcome the challenges posed by the epidemic of the new coronavirus.
Jérôme Salomon, head of the public health authority, said at a press conference that the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in hospitals and retirement homes in France had increased by 5% in one day for reach a cumulative total of 15,729, compared to 4% on Monday and Sunday. .
He added that the total number of confirmed infections rose 5.3% to 103,573, compared to an increase of 2.8% on Monday and 1.7% on Sunday.
There were also 26,680 suspected cases of coronavirus in nursing homes, bringing the total to over 130,000 confirmed and possible cases, the fifth highest in the world.
According to various race simulations, Salomon said that, according to calculations for different regions, 5% to 10% of the French population had probably contracted the disease.
Report by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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