Issued on: 21/04/2020 – 20:09Modified: 21/04/2020 – 20:09
France on Tuesday reported 531 deaths from Covid-19 in 24 hours as the number of people in hospital and intensive care continued to decline.
The daily tally – 387 deaths in hospital and 144 in nursing homes – brought France's total Covid-19 death toll to 20,796, top health official Jérôme Salomon told reporters.
Salomon spoke one day after France became the fourth country after Italy, Spain, and the US to surpass the 20,000-fatality mark.
France has been under virtual lockdown for five weeks and is due to start lifting some confinement measures on May 11.
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told a news conference Sunday that the gradual exit from lockdown in May, due to start with the reopening of schools, would not allow people to move around or interact as before, especially without any vaccine against the virus.
"It won't be a return to normal life," Philippe said, adding that as France introduces more testing, people with coronavirus would have to remain isolated at home or in hotels laid on by the government.
Health minister: Nursing home visits allowed
France has provided few details of the pace at which businesses like cinemas or bars will reopen, only saying that as some stores open up again, people will have to maintain social distancing.
However, Health Minister Olivier Véran told the same Sunday briefing that France will lift its ban on visits to nursing home residents, provided people did not have physical contact with their relatives. Elderly people in nursing homes account for nearly 40 percent of the coronavirus fatalities in the country.
The government faced recent criticism after shortages of medicine, hospital equipment such as ventilators, and face masRead More – Source