Daily death toll from the coronavirus in France drops below 100 as people enjoy first post-lockdown weekend

Daily death toll from the coronavirus in France drops below 100 as people enjoy first post-lockdown weekend
People stroll on Villeneuve-les-Maguelone beach, near Montpellier, southern France, on May 16 2020: Sylvain THOMAS / AFP
France on Saturday reported 96 new coronavirus deaths, a lower figure than in previous days, as its overall death toll from the pandemic reached 27,625.

Several other recent positive trends continued as well, with 71 fewer people in intensive care, the health ministry said.

The latest figures came as France enjoyed the sixth day of the partial easing of a nationwide lockdown imposed on March 17 to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

On Friday French officials called for self-restraint as the country prepared for its first weekend since the coronavirus lockdown was eased.

They warned that police would break up any large gatherings of people taking too much advantage of newfound freedoms.

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People gather on the banks of the river Seine in Paris on Mai 16, 2020, on the first weekend after France eased lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

Since the lockdown was eased Monday, “the response has globally been positive,” government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye told France 2 television.

“But significant efforts must still be made” ahead of the summer tourism season, she said, when cooped-up families will be looking to escape to countryside retreats or beaches.

At present, there are 19,432 people in hospital for COVID-19 treatment in France, down from 22,614 one week ago, the ministry figures showed.

But the number of admissions within 24 hours released on Saturday came to 350, an increase from the week-earlier number of 265.

Health officials in the central Val de Loire region meanwhile reported an outbreak at an abattoir in which 34 cases of coronavirus had been detected.

Experts were called in on Friday to start testing and were still contacting all the workers to check them. The abattoir itself, at Fleury-les-Aubrais near the city of Orleans, has
been shut down for on-site tests and cleaning.


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