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France sees first decrease in ICU patients as virus death toll passes 12,000

Medical staff working at the intensive care unit for coronavirus patients at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris (IMM) hospital in Paris, April 6, 2020.
Medical staff working at the intensive care unit for coronavirus patients at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris (IMM) hospital in Paris, April 6, 2020. © Benoit Tessier, REUTERS

France's coronavirus death toll has risen to 12,210, with care homes accounting for more than a third of all fatalities, health officials said Thursday, though the number of people in intensive care has fallen slightly for the first time since the start of the outbreak.

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Jérôme Salomon, head of the public health authority, told reporters that there were now 7,062 people in intensive care at hospitals across France, a net decrease of 82 from the day earlier.

He said the total number of fatalities from the Covid-19 disease had risen to 12,210, with 8,044 hospital deaths and a further 4,166 recorded at care homes for the elderly and dependent.

Urging people to keep on observing a nationwide lockdown, he said: "Thanks to these measures, we are in the process of putting the brakes on the epidemic."

France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic, with only essential trips allowed that must be justified with a signed piece of paper.

The lockdown, which was supposed to run until April 15, will be extended beyond that date, the French presidency announced on Wednesday, without saying for how long.

President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the coronavirus situation in an address to the nation on Monday, the Élysée Palace added.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

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