France sees lowest weekday COVID-19 death toll increase since end March

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of people who died of coronavirus infection in France increased by 289 or 1.2% to 24,376 on Thursday, the lowest increase on a weekday since end March, government data showed.

On Sunday, only 242 new deaths were reported, but on Sundays the data reporting from nursing homes is often delayed, leading to a catch-up during the week.

Health Ministry chief Jerome Salomon said the number of people in intensive care units fell to 4,019 from 4,207 on Wednesday, down for a 22nd consecutive day.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 26,283 from 26,834, also continuing an uninterrupted fall of more than two weeks.

Salomon said the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country rose by 1,138 or 0.9% to 129,580 from a revised 128,442 on Wednesday. The ministry had already reported 129,859 cases on Tuesday, before the revision.

Salomon did not provide a breakdown for the number of probable infections in nursing homes on Thursday. On Wednesday, that tally stood at 37,978.

Health Minister Olivier Veran also presented a first map with a regional breakdown of the coronavirus impact on hospitals, which showed that intensive care units in the east and north of France remain under heavy strain, while in the south and west the number of ICU patients remains well below hospital capacity.


(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)