France records 263 new Covid-19 deaths as hospitalisations continue to fall
France on Monday reported 263 more deaths from the coronavirus, a sharp increase on previous days as the country marked the first easing of an almost two-month lockdown.
The new deaths brought the total toll in hospitals and nursing homes from the pandemic in France to 26,643, the health ministry said.
The ministry had on Sunday reported 70 more deaths, the lowest daily toll announced since March 17, the day the lockdown in France began.
However weekend tolls are frequently lower than in the week, possibly due to reporting lags, particularly in nursing homes.
France was on Monday beginning to emerge from its lockdown, although many restrictions remain in place nationwide.
There has been a steady downward trend in France's key coronavirus figures in recent days, although officials warn that caution is still needed and the risk of a second wave remains.
Continuing a month-long decline, there were 64 fewer coronavirus patients in total in intensive care Monday.
The overall number of patients hospitalised with the virus also continued to decline, dropping by 285 to 22,284 on Monday.
The government has divided France into green and red areas, with Paris and three other regions classified as red seeing a more limited relaxation of the lockdown.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
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