France Coronavirus Deaths Slow as Hospitalizations Drop

(Bloomberg) -- France reported new deaths linked to the coronavirus fell on Tuesday from a day earlier, recording fewer than 400 fatalities for a fourth day in five.

Deaths rose by 367 to 23,660, the Health Ministry said in an emailed statement. The number of new infections rose by 3,683 to 199,752, according to data published by the health ministry.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday announced a range of measures to ease the country’s strict lockdown and restart a battered economy, with a plan to reopen shops starting May 11 as one of the first steps. The lockdown has helped contain the virus in France, with the number of patients in hospitals and intensive care falling for the past two weeks.

Still, the health ministry said excess mortality remains “very marked in the east of France and at an exceptional level in the Paris region,” mainly concerning people over 65.

Patients in intensive care because of the virus, which health authorities consider a key indicator of the outbreak’s impact on the country’s hospital system, fell by 221 to 4,387, the sharpest drop in a week. Hospitalizations fell by 571 patients to 27,848, the biggest decline since the number first started falling in April 15.

France’s daily coronavirus figures have fluctuated amid inconsistent reporting from nursing homes, which were first included in the tally this month, and the case count was revised downward last week.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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