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France records 278 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, hospitalisations continue to fall

Medical personnel at the Lariboisière hospital in Paris, April 27, 2020.
Medical personnel at the Lariboisière hospital in Paris, April 27, 2020. © Joel Saget, AFP

France on Wednesday recorded 278 deaths in 24 hours, down from 330 the previous day, taking the total number of deaths due to Covid-19 to 25,809.

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The total number of Covid-19 cases in ICUs across France reached 3,147 on Wednesday, 283 less than the day before, according to French health officials.

Hospitalisations also fell, continuing a now uninterrupted three-week fall.

Lockdown easing starts May 11

France is set to begin easing its lockdown on May 11, when people will be allowed to move up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) around their residence without a justification form. Movement beyond 100 kms will still need a justification form.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for caution and “pragmatism” regarding travel outside the 100-kilometre zone to avoid accelerating the spread of the virus into low infection zones.

France released a colour-coded map last week, dividing the country into zones ranging from red for high infection areas to green for low infection zones. The map is designed to serve as a reference for lockdown easing measures.

The French government’s lockdown easing measures have drawn fire from critics who say they are confusing and the country is not ready to cope with the strict social distancing and other protective measures that will be required after May 11 to avoid a flare-up of the epidemic.

But the government has defended its timetable with French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Monday asserting that, "economic life must resume imperatively and quickly".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

 

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