PARIS (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in France on Monday were nearly four times higher than Sunday and new confirmed cases more than doubled in 24 hours, as the country began to resolve a national lockdown of almost two months set up to contain the spread of the disease.
These figures are sure to fuel fears of a possible second wave of infections, as the World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier that “extreme vigilance” is needed in countries starting to exit blockages.
Germany previously reported an acceleration of new coronavirus infections after taking early steps to ease its lockdown. South Korea, another country that has managed to limit viral infections, has experienced a new outbreak in nightclubs.
The French Ministry of Health announced that it had registered 263 new deaths from the virus, against 70 on Sunday. In percentage points, the 1% increase is the highest in five days. But the numbers often tend to peak after the weekend break.
The total number of deaths since the epidemic now stands at 26,643, according to the ministry, the fifth in the world after those of the United States, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.
New confirmed cases of the disease increased by 456 compared to 209 on Sunday, bringing the total to 139,519. Probable cases in nursing homes are stable at 37,904, the total number of cases is up 0.3% to 177,423.
On Monday, there were 2,712 people in intensive care, down from 2,776 on Sunday, now a long-term decline. Those hospitalized for COVID-19 decreased 1.2% to 22,284, a decrease for the 27th day.
Report by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese and Chizu Nomiyama
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