PARIS (Reuters) – The growth rate of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in France slowed slightly on Thursday, health authorities reporting 318 other known infections, an increase of 0.2% over 24 hours.
The rate of increase in reported deaths has also slowed slightly, with 83 deaths from COVID-19 in the past day, bringing the total to 28,215. This represents an increase of 0.3%.
On Wednesday, the number of new cases and deaths increased by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively.
Thursday is a public holiday in France. Nursing homes in particular may be slower to report deaths and cases on weekends and holidays.
In the last two weeks of isolation, the daily increase in the number of confirmed cases averaged 0.8%.
The indicator is being watched closely by the government to ensure that the gradual relaxation of the lockdown measures does not trigger a feared second wave of the disease.
Geneviève Chene, head of the French public health authority Sante Publique (SPF), said this week that there was no sign of a resumption of the pandemic, despite new clusters of infection, after France started cautiously break out of isolation on May 11.
But she said another week would be needed to get a fuller picture of the impact of relaxing the restrictions.
The number of COVID-19 patients treated in intensive care units fell to 1,745 from 1,794 a day earlier, according to figures on Thursday. A total of 17,583 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a decrease of 358 in the past 24 hours.
Report by Richard Lough; Editing by Chris Reese and Jan Harvey
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