France today reported 395 deaths from coronavirus in 24 hours, with the number of new hospitalizations continuing to decline slowly.
The new deaths – 227 in hospitals and 168 in nursing homes – brought the total number of deaths from the epidemic in France to 19,718, senior health official Jérôme Salomon told reporters.
Solomon added that the total number of people in intensive care units fell for the 11th consecutive day, to 5,744, the lowest level since March 30.
This drop in the number of new cases occurred as “tiny traces” of the virus emerged in non-potable water in Paris, such as the supply used to clean the streets.
However, drinking water is not at risk of being contaminated, an official in the city said today.
Parisians, some wearing protective masks, go shopping along rue Mouffetard in the French capital today – the 34th day of a strict lockdown in France
A street cleaner works along the rue de Charonne in Paris (file photo). “Tiny traces” of COVID-19 were discovered in the water network of the French capital, used mainly by the municipality to clean the streets
The laboratory of the Paris water authority detected tiny amounts of virus in four of the 27 samples taken in the capital, causing an immediate shutdown of the network as a precaution, said Celia Blauel.
“The confinement works,” said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at the press conference.
Drinking water is supplied by a “completely independent” network and “can be consumed without any risk,” said Blauel, the town’s highest environmental official.
Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean the streets and water the greenery of the city’s parks and gardens – currently closed to the public – as well as to feed their ornamental fountains.
The city of Paris consults with the regional health agency for a risk analysis before deciding what to do next, said Blauel.
Operators unload Ukrainian plane from China to deliver 8.6 million face masks and 150 tonnes of sanitary equipment ordered by a private customer, at Paris-Vatry airport in Bussy Lettree today