France coronavirus death toll nears 19,000 but spread continues to slow

France coronavirus death toll nears 19,000 but spread continues to slow

France’s registered death toll from coronavirus infections neared 19,000 on Friday, but most data provided further indications that the spread of the disease was slowing after a one-month-old national lockdown, officials said, Trend reports citing Reuters.

During a press conference Jerome Salomon, head of the public health authority, said the number of people in hospital had declined for a third day running, and that the total number in intensive care units had fallen for the ninth day running.

“Our collective efforts demonstrate their effectiveness. The lockdown is starting to bear fruit,” Salomon said.

The number of ICU patients, at 6,027, was at its lowest since April 1 and down more than 1,000 from its April 8 peak of 7,148. Before COVID-19 started to spread, France had 5,000 hospital beds equipped with ventilation gear.

At 18,681, the number of deaths was up 4.2% over 24 hours, though the rate of increase decelerated for the second day running.

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