France records 6th consecutive daily fall in coronavirus intensive care patients

France has for the sixth day in a row seen a fall in the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care but the pandemic "remains very active" said the country's health chief.

France records 6th consecutive daily fall in coronavirus intensive care patients
Photo: AFP

France's Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon confirmed that the country “has seen a plateau for several days now, but the pandemic remains very active”.

In his daily briefing, Salomon revealed that 541 deaths in hospital have been recorded in the last 24 hours. 

The figures were up from the 335 and 315 recorded over the previous two days, but followed a pattern seen in recent weeks of lower figures reported at the weekend followed by a spike on Monday. Easter Monday is a public holiday in France.

Daily figures were not available for deaths in care homes, but the total number of hospital deaths now stands at 10,129 while deaths recorded in care homes stand at 5,600, taking the overall figure to 15,729.

France is one of the few countries in Europe to include deaths in care homes in its official statistics, Spain, Italy and England only count deaths in hospital in their official coronavirus death tolls.

Once again, the total number of patients in intensive care fell, down 91 from the previous day marking the sixth consecutive fall. Experts say this figure is crucial as it provides an indicator for the days to come.

It is against this background of a plateau in the number of deaths and steadily falling intensive care rates that France has begun to talk about lifting its strict lockdown rules.

President Emmanuel Macron on Monday night told the nation that lockdown will be extended until May 11th.

But he also laid out a roadmap for the gradual reopening of schools and businesses, if the health situation continues to improve and people continue to obey the lockdown rules.

READ ALSO France's coronavirus lockdown – what happens next?




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France’s monkeypox count rises to 277 as first woman contracts virus

France has detected 277 cases of monkeypox, health authorities said Tuesday, June 21st, including the first case in the country of a woman contracting the virus.

France's monkeypox count rises to 277 as first woman contracts virus

The case numbers have risen steeply since the last official figure of 183 cases five days earlier. But there have been no deaths in France attributed to monkeypox.

The normal initial symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

Until recently, the viral disease had generally been confined to Western and Central Africa but is now present in several continents, particularly Europe.

Among the latest cases recorded in France, “a first female case has been confirmed, the mode of transmission of which is currently being investigated, and all the others are men,” the French national public health agency said in a statement.

So far, the recent outbreak of monkeypox, which is currently affecting some 40 countries, has mainly affected men who have engaged in gay sex.

The World Health Organization is due to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to determine whether to classify the global monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.

The virus usually clears up after two or three weeks.

Most of the cases identified in France have been found in Paris and its suburbs, though smaller outbreaks have been seen in several regions throughout the country, including Normandy in the north and the Cote d’Azur in the south.

The first monkeypox case in France was discovered on May 20, the same day the virus was detected in neighbouring Germany.