The total death toll due to coronavirus has reached 24,895 in France on Monday, while hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care continued to fall, according to the official data released by the Ministry of Health. A total of 135 people have died in the past 24 hours, a slower pace compared with Sunday's 166, Xinhua reported. At 25,827, the number of hospitalized patients fell for the 25th consecutive day. The number of patients in intensive care also fell to 3,819, down from 3,827 on Saturday, confirming a continued slowdown for the third running week on Sunday. A total of 131,287 people infected by COVID-19 have been identified in France since the start of the pandemic on March 1.
France has entered a lockdown in mid-March. Now, it's planning to lift the two-month confinement by opening gradually schools and shops and unwinding restriction on people movement as a slowing-down spread of the virus put less pressure on hospitals in the last three weeks.
Meanwhile, the government decided to extend the state of health emergency it declared on March 24, by another two months to stem the coronavirus outbreak and address a possible resurgence of the COVID-19 when the lockdown ends on May 11.
"We must not relax our collective efforts which are bearing fruit and which are effectively curbing the epidemic. To succeed in the gradual lifting of containment, it is more than ever necessary to scrupulously apply all barrier gestures, respect the minimum physical distance of one meter and reduce contacts," the ministry said.
"All together we have fought against the spread of the epidemic...All together we will fight against the risk of epidemic resurgence," it added.
(With Inputs from IANS)