French coronavirus deaths top 19,000, though increase slows

The total number of confirmed cases reach 111,821 as the country remains in virtual lockdown since March 17


Reuters April 19, 2020
A sign is pictured in an intensive care unit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Clinique de l'Orangerie private hospital in Strasbourg, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, France April 17, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS: France registered 642 more deaths from coronavirus infections on Saturday, although fatalities increased at a slower pace for the third day running and a downward trend in the number of people in hospital continued.

France has the world’s fourth-highest tally of deaths from the outbreak with 19,323, after the United States, Italy and Spain.

The health ministry said the total number of people in intensive care units fell for the 10th day in a row, to 5,833 - the lowest level since March 31.

The number of people in hospital fell for the fourth day running to 30,639.

The total death tally - which included 11,842 fatalities in hospitals and another 7,481 in nursing homes - rose by 3.4%, the third day running that the pace of increase has slowed.

France has been in virtual lockdown since March 17 as part of efforts to curb the outbreak.

“There is decreasing pressure on the needs in terms of equipment and human ressources in resuscitation units, but we’re still at an exceptionally high level (of pressure),” the health ministry said.

There were 111,821 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France overall, and an additional 39,972 probable cases in nursing homes.

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