France's daily Covid-19 toll drops below 100 as hospitalisations continue to fall

A nurse treats a patient at a hospital in Mamoudzou in Mayotte, on May 21, 2020.
A nurse treats a patient at a hospital in Mamoudzou in Mayotte, on May 21, 2020. © Ali Al-Daher, AFP

French health authorities reported 83 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, an increase of 0.3% over 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities in hospitals and nursing homes to 28,215.

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Thursday's tally marked a further decrease after the 110 deaths reported a day earlier.

The health ministry said the number of people in hospitals with Covid-19 fell to 17,583 from 17,941 on Wednesday and the number of people in intensive care units dropped to 1,745 from 1,794.

Both numbers — key indicators for the French health system’s ability to cope with the pandemic — have been on a downtrend for five weeks and peaked at more than 32,000 and more than 7,000 respectively in early to mid-April.

Geneviève Chêne, head of health authority Santé Publique France (SPF), said there were no signs the pandemic was picking up, despite some new infection clusters, after France began emerging cautiously from lockdown on May 11.

But she said another week would be needed for a more complete picture of the impact of easing restrictions.

On Thursday, health authorities reported an additional 318 known infections, an increase of 0.2% over 24 hours.

The indicator is being closely watched by the government to ensure the gradual relaxation of lockdown measures does not trigger a feared second wave of the disease.

During the last two weeks of the lockdown, the daily rise in the number of confirmed cases had averaged 0.8%.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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