Death toll in France slows but coronavirus still hits hard


PARIS (Reuters) – The daily death toll from the new coronavirus in France has dropped over the past 24 hours and admissions to intensive care have also slowed, the health ministry said on Sunday thanking citizens for respecting largely a lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.

FILE PHOTO: Members of the French Civil Protection arrive on the spot for a rescue operation in Paris, while the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France, April 4, 2020. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

Ministry of Health data showed that 357 people died of COVID-19 in hospitals, compared to 441 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in hospitals to 5,889.

It indicates that 2,189 people have died in retirement homes since March 1, bringing the total number of deaths to 8,078 in France.

“These data confirm that the epidemic is continuing in the country and continues to hit hard,” the ministry said.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in France since the start of the epidemic increased by 2.7% or 1,873 to 70,478, the ministry said in a daily update.

He added that some 22,361 confirmed or possible cases have been recorded in nursing homes, bringing the total number of confirmed or possible cases of coronavirus in France to 92,839.

France decided on March 17 to confine its residents to homes to stop the spread of the virus, as a daily wave of infections threatened the health system. The measures have been extended until April 15 and are expected to be extended again.

“French men and women who are in their twentieth day of detention must be thanked,” said the Ministry of Health in the press release.

He urged citizens to continue to observe strict containment measures and to keep their distance. Authorities and doctors warned people on Sunday not to be tempted by the sunny spring weather.

The Department of Health said admissions to intensive care units had also slowed in the past 24 hours with 390 people requiring intensive care compared to 502 the day before. The total number of people in intensive care units was 6,978, an increase of 2% compared to an increase of 2.6% in the previous 24 hours.

Report by Bate Felix; Editing by Pravin Char and Angus MacSwan

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