France reports 531 new coronavirus deaths, total toll 20,796
France on Tuesday reported 531 deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours as the number of people in hospital and intensive care continued to decline.
The daily tally—387 deaths in hospital and 144 in nursing homes—brought France's total epidemic death toll to 20,796, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.
There were 30,106 infected people in hospital, he said—a daily decline of 478 in an encouraging downward trend.
There were also 250 fewer people in intensive care—a crucial marker of epidemic decline—for a total of 5,433, Salomon said. This represented the 13th day of decline in a row.
Salomon said the epidemic remained active in France, adding "we must remain fully mobilised."
France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic. President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the lockdown will be progressively lifted from May 11.
Schools could gradually reopen then but cafes, cinemas and cultural venues would remain closed, and there could be no summer festivals until mid-July at the earliest.
© 2020 AFP