France records lowest Covid-19 weekday death toll rise since end-March

The number of people who died of coronavirus infection in France increased by 289 or 1.2 percent to 24,376 on Thursday, the lowest increase on a weekday since end March, government data showed. 

On Sunday, only 242 new coronavirus deaths were reported, but on Sundays the data reporting from nursing homes is often delayed, leading to a catch-up during the week.

A nurse walks past a sign at the post Covid-19 unit of the Clinique Breteche private hospital in Nantes, France, April 30, 2020.
A nurse walks past a sign at the post Covid-19 unit of the Clinique Breteche private hospital in Nantes, France, April 30, 2020. REUTERS – STEPHANE MAHE

Health Ministry chief Jérôme Salomon said the number of people in intensive care units fell to 4,019 from 4,207 on Wednesday, down for a 22nd consecutive day.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 26,283 from 26,834, also continuing an uninterrupted fall since more than two weeks.

France is set for an easing of restrictions on May 11 following a strict nationwide lockdown, which was imposed on March 17.

Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe unveiled a strategy for lifting the restrictions, including the compulsory use of face masks in public, increased testing, a phased reopening of schools and limiting movement between regions.

New social distancing methods will also be introduced on public transport and gatherings of a maximum of 10 people will be allowed after May 11, Philippe announced.

(FRANCE 24 & REUTERS)

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