Covid-19: France’s daily death toll stays under 100 for ninth consecutive day

File photo of a nurse in protective gear at a hospital in Nantes, France.
File photo of a nurse in protective gear at a hospital in Nantes, France. © Stephane Mahe, REUTERS

France's coronavirus death toll rose by less than a 100 for the ninth day running on Friday, as the country gears up for a new easing of lockdown measures.

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The French health ministry said that the number of fatalities had risen by 52, or 0.2 percent, to 28,714, the fourth-highest coronavirus total in the world.

France is set for an easing of restrictions after Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Thursday announced details of the second phase in the gradual lifting of France’s strict coronavirus lockdown, which included a nationwide reopening of bars and restaurants from June 2. But in Paris, where the risk of coronavirus spread remains higher than in the rest of the mainland, only the outside terraces of eating and drinking establishments can reopen to clients.

On Friday, the Louvre, the world's most visited museum, announced plans to re-open its doors on June 6 as part of a phased opening.

Voluntary tracking app ready for roll-out

Earlier this week, the French government's contact-tracing app plan was approved by the lower house of parliament, paving the way for a weekend launch.

The StopCovid app – use of which will remain voluntary – is designed to keep track of users who have been in close proximity over a two-week period. If any become infected, they inform the platform, which alerts the others.

Privacy defenders have expressed fears that the app marks the first step towards a society under constant online surveillance.

But France’s CNIL watchdog, which gave provisional approval for StopCovid in April, said Tuesday that the app met the legal requirements for privacy protection, with ample safeguards to prevent abuse.

It nevertheless made a number of recommendations to make it even safer, including improving the quality of information provided to users, allowing users to object to information shared, and providing an option for erasing stored data.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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