The total death toll due to coronavirus has reached 26,643 in France, the fifth worst-hit country in the world in terms of human losses, while pressure in hospitals eased for nearly one month, according to the official data released by the Ministry of Health. The number of people in intensive care units, a key indicator of the health system's ability to deal with the pandemic, declined by 64 to 2,712, while hospitalizations were down by 285 to 22,284. A total of 139,519 people infected by COVID-19 have been identified in France since the start of the pandemic on March 1.
A total of 263 people have died in the past 24 hours, showed health ministry's data on Monday. More people died of the disease in the last 24 hours compared with 70 deaths reported on Sunday, the lowest daily toll in nearly two months, the data showed, Xinhua reported.
Also a single day increase of 456 new infections was reported on Monday, compared with a rise of 209 registered on Sunday, bringing the country's total infections to .
France on Monday allowed its citizens to move freely without justification and go to work. Shops opened and train and metro traffic resumed. About 1.5 million pupils will attend classes in their schools from Tuesday.
"Today, a new gradual and cautious phase of activity's resumption starts. This must take place with the best possible conditions of health security, by implying compliance with all barrier measures, including the wearing of a mask when the minimum physical distance of one meter cannot be respected," the ministry said.
"The pandemic is still active and evolving, we must continue our efforts to slow it down as much as possible," it warned.
The ministry added the government's post-confinement plan was based on three measures: rapid testing of suspected cases, tracing contacts and isolating infected people.
(With Inputs from IANS)