France records lowest Covid-19 daily death toll since March 22

Medical staff tend to a patient infected with Covid-19 at the intensive care unit of the Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris on April 27, 2020.
Medical staff tend to a patient infected with Covid-19 at the intensive care unit of the Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris on April 27, 2020. © Joël Saget, AFP

The number of people who died of coronavirus infection in France increased by 166 to 24,760 on Saturday, the lowest daily increase since March 22, government data showed.

Advertising

Saturday's daily tally of Covid-19 fatalities was markedly lower than the 218 recorded a day earlier.

Health Ministry officials said the number of people in intensive care units fell to 3,827 from 3,878 on Friday, down for a 24th consecutive day.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 25,827 from 25,887, 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.

However, the government has decided to extend a "state of health emergency" imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic for two months until July 24, Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Saturday. 

A proposal to be put to parliament on Monday says plans this month to lift the public health emergency, which began on March 24, would "be premature" and "could see a risk of the outbreak" intensifying.

"We are going to have to live with the virus for a while," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said after a cabinet meeting.

The bill also lays out the quarantine conditions for people coming to France from abroad.

Travellers to France, including French citizens returning home, will face a compulsory two-week quarantine and possible isolation when they arrive in the country to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the health minister said.

In an address marking international Labour Day on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the exit from lockdown would not signal a return to “normal life”.

"There will be a recovery that will need to be reorganised," Macron said. "There will be several phases and May 11 will be one of them.”

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning