Paris: France announced on Monday that after recording 547 new deaths from the epidemic, it has become the fourth country in the world to register more than 20,000 deaths from this new coronavirus.
“Tonight, our country has passed a barrier that is symbolic and particularly painful,” top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.
He announced that the country s total death toll was 20,265, while welcoming new falls in the numbers in hospital and intensive care.
Salomon pointed out that the death toll of coronavirus is now much higher than the 14,000 deaths in France ’s most recent flu epidemic, and even more than 19,000 deaths caused by the 2003 heat wave.
France is Italy and Spain, second only to the United States (so far the most affected country in the world), and the fourth country to record more than 20,000 deaths.
Its death toll includes 12,513 people who died in hospitals and 7,752 who died in nursing homes and other nursing homes.
However, Solomon also welcomes the data, which shows that one person infected with COVID-19 in France now has an average number of infections less than another person, and the number of people who entered the blockade more than a month ago in the country was three.
“This is how we will manage to put the brakes on the epidemic,” he said.
The number of people in intensive care infected with COVID-19 fell for the 12th day in a row, by 61 patients to 5,863.
“The fall… is being confirmed but it remains very slight,” said Salomon.
At the same time, the number of hospitalized patients fell by 26, a daily decline for the sixth consecutive day, to 30,584.
France has been in a blockade since March 17 to slow the spread of the epidemic. But President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the lock-in may be relaxed from May 11.
At that time, the school can be gradually reopened, but cafes, movie theaters and cultural venues will remain closed, and summer festivals will not be held until the middle of July at the earliest.
Unlike some European countries, France has been causing deaths in nursing homes every day.
The governor of Moselle said that in an old man’s home in Maslatur in northeastern Moselle, 22 of 51 residents died of COVID-19 in the past two weeks.
At a news conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned that it would take a long time to overcome the epidemic, and emphasized that the initial easing policy was only partial.
“Our life from May 11 will not be like our life before, not immediately, and probably not for a long time,” he said.
Salomon said data indicated less than 10 percent of the population in France had been infected with the virus, noting this meant there was going to be no herd immunity in the country on May 11.
“The levels of immunity are probably higher in the areas that have been worst affected,” he said.
“The collective immunity in France is low, as many other countries are indicating as well.”
France has 114,657 confirmed cases, but officials say the real figure is much higher due to a lack of testing.