France reports 642 more coronavirus deaths, a total of 19,323 deaths

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Paris (AFP)

France reported 642 additional deaths from COVID-19 in hospitals and nursing homes in the past 24 hours on Saturday, but has seen further declines in the total number of coronavirus patients in hospitals and care intensive.

The new deaths – 364 in hospitals and 278 in nursing homes – brought the total number of victims of the epidemic in the country to 19,323, the French Ministry of Health said in a statement.

However, continuing a trend observed in the past few days, the number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital fell from 551 to 30,639. The number of people in intensive care fell from 194 to 5.833.

This was the fourth consecutive day of decline in the number of hospital patients and the tenth consecutive day of decline in the number of intensive care patients.

“The drop in demand for equipment and human resources in intensive care continues, but it is still at an exceptional level, well above the usual level in France,” said the press release.

France has been blocked since March 17 in an effort to slow the spread of the epidemic. But President Emmanuel Macron announced this week that the lockdown could start easing from May 11.

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

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Minister of Health Olivier Veran are due to give a press conference on Sunday on how France is coping with the virus. They should be in a hurry on how the lock can be relaxed from May 11.

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