France records 531 new deaths from Covid-19, for a total of 20,796

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Yesterday, a nurse fitted a patient’s face mask in a retirement home in eastern France. (Photo AP)

PARIS: France reported Tuesday 531 deaths due to Covid-19 in 24 hours, the number of people hospitalized and intensive care continuing to decrease.

The daily count – 387 deaths in hospitals and 144 in nursing homes – brings the total number of deaths due to the epidemic in France to 20,796, senior health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.

There were 30,106 infected people in the hospital, he said – a daily drop of 478 in an encouraging downward trend.

There were also 250 fewer people in intensive care – a critical marker of the decline in the epidemic – for a total of 5,433, said Solomon. This represented the 13th day of consecutive decline.

The total number included 12,900 people who died in hospital and 7,896 elderly people and other nursing homes.

Salomon said the epidemic has remained active in France, adding “we must remain fully mobilized.”

France has been blocked since March 17 in an effort to slow the spread of the epidemic. President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the lock-in would be gradually lifted from May 11.

Schools could then reopen gradually, but cafes, cinemas and cultural venues would remain closed, and there could not be summer festivals until mid-July at the earliest.

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