Coronavirus death toll in France once again exceeds that of Spain


PARIS (Reuters) – The cumulative number of deaths from coronaviruses in France has slightly exceeded that of Spain, the Ministry of Health said that the number of people who died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours had increased by 351 or 1.3% to reach 27,425.

A member of staff at Charles de Gaulle Airport wears a face mask and a visor in Terminal 2 of Charles de Gaulle International Airport, in the midst of France’s gradual relaxation of its locking measures and its restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19), in Roissy near Paris, France May 14, 2020. Ian Langsdon / Pool via REUTERS

Spain reported 217 new deaths earlier Thursday, bringing its death toll to 27,321. France’s record first surpassed that of Spain on Tuesday, but fell below it on Wednesday.

France has the fourth largest death toll in the world after the United States (85,092), Great Britain (33,614) and Italy (31,368). Brazil, whose number of victims is increasing rapidly, has the sixth largest number of deaths with 13,149 deaths.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in France increased from 622 to 141,356 Thursday, up 0.4% and on the eighth consecutive day when the number of cases increased by about half a percentage point or less.

Probable nursing home cases increased from 188 to 37,514, and the total number of more likely confirmed cases increased from 810 to 178,870, the seventh highest in the world. The cumulative number of deaths in retirement homes exceeded 10,000 for the first time.

“The COVID-19 epidemic remains active and the virus is still circulating in France,” the ministry said in a statement on the fourth day after the isolation ended.

France experienced its smallest increase in infection rate on Sunday, the last day of the 55-day ban, when the number of confirmed infections increased by 209 (or 0.3%), which was the lowest since long before the ban began in March. 17.

At the height of the epidemic on March 31, France registered 7,578 new infections in 24 hours. The government had made the end of the lockdown conditional on an infection rate of less than 3,000 new cases per day.

Between March 23 and April 11, France recorded an average of nearly 4,000 new infections a day, and the infection rate only fell below the 3,000 threshold after a month of strict national prohibition.

The Department of Health also reported that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 infection dropped from 608 to 20,463 on Thursday and the number of people in intensive care fell from 129 to 2,299.

These two figures – key indicators of the French health system’s capacity to cope with the epidemic – have been on a downward trend for four to five weeks and have peaked at more than 32,000 and more than 7,000 respectively from start to mid -April.

France announced Thursday an 18 billion euros (15.6 billion pounds sterling) support program for its virus-affected tourism industry, which accounts for nearly 8% of gross domestic product and has attracted nearly 90 million foreign visitors last year.

Report by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Toby Chopra and Lisa Shumaker

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