France’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 104 to 27,529 on Friday, the health ministry announced, as the number of patients in hospital and in intensive care units continued to drop.
Friday’s tally marks a significant decrease from the 351 deaths reported on Thursday, though that number included previously uncounted fatalities at care homes for the elderly.
France’s health ministry said in a statement that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 infections fell again to 19,861 from 20,463 on Thursday, continuing an uninterrupted downward trend now in its fifth week.
The number of people in intensive care — a key measure of a health system’s ability to cope with the pandemic — also continued its downtrend, falling by 96 to 2,203, from more than 7,000 in early April at the height of the crisis.
Both figures are welcome news for the government, which has begun lifting lockdown measures this week in an effort to revive a flagging economy.
The government has warned it will consider locking down the country again if daily new infections rise above 3,000. On Friday, the number of infections increased by 563 to 141,919, up 0.4% and the ninth consecutive day that the case tally rose by about half a percentage point or less.
President Trump said that he was mobilizing the military to inoculate most of the population against COVID-19 with a vaccination that has not even gone into production yet.