France registers smallest daily increase in new coronavirus cases and deaths since lockout

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PARIS (Reuters) – French authorities reported on Sunday the smallest daily increase in new coronavirus cases and deaths since the closure began on March 17, raising hopes that the worst of the epidemic would have passed in France.

People enjoy the sunny weather sitting on the banks of the Seine in the middle of the epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Paris, France, on May 24, 2020. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

The number of confirmed cases increased from 115 to 144,921, according to data from the Ministry of Health, and the number of deaths increased from 35 to 28,367, an increase of only 0.1% for the two counts.

Weekend totals for new cases and deaths were also the lowest since France began easing its strict coronavirus restrictions on May 11.

Epidemiologist Laurent Toubiana, director of the IRSAN health data institute, suggested that the worst of the epidemic had passed and said that the coronavirus could not return, unlike previous pandemics such as the Spanish flu of 1918 .

“If we don’t see a rapid resurgence of the epidemic, we could have a break for a few weeks,” he said on BFM TV.

Despite the easing of restrictions, social distancing rules remain in place in France and Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne told Radio France Inter that the government does not want people to travel abroad this summer.

She also said that Parisian parks should remain closed for the time being because the capital is still a “red zone” for the circulation of coronavirus.

New data shows that due to the slower data reporting and the fact that patients stay in the hospital longer over the long vacation weekend, the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus had increased by seven to 17,185.

It was the first increase in weeks. So far, the number has been dropping every day since April 15.

But the number of people in intensive care continued to decline continuously, from 10 to 1,655. This was the slowest decline since the peak of the crisis, when 7,148 people were in intensive care.

Report by Geert De Clercq, edited by Timothy Heritage

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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