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New COVID-19 cases in France increase more slowly

New COVID-19 cases in France increase more slowly

A medical staff member works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at ELSAN's private hospital Clinique Oceane in Vannes, France, on Apr 7, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

PARIS: France on Wednesday (Apr 21) reported 34,968 new coronavirus cases, up 4.36 per cent compared to last Wednesday, in the lowest week-on-week increase since mid-March as a third nationwide lockdown started to show some effect.

This year, week-on-week increases have only briefly dipped below the 4 per cent level, in mid-February, and rose to more than 6 per cent in late March-early April, before the government ordered the third lockdown just over two weeks ago.

The new cases took the total to 5.37 million. The government also reported 313 new deaths in hospitals, taking the cumulative toll to 101,881, health ministry data showed.

The number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 fell by 25 to 5,959 people as pressure on the hospital system remained high.

The number of people in hospital with the disease eased by 132 to 30,954 but remained well above the 30,000 level, where it has been since the start of the third lockdown on Apr 6.

The government said earlier on Wednesday that domestic travel restrictions imposed to tackle the spread of the virus are expected to be lifted on May 3 and said it was sticking to a base-case scenario of bars and restaurants being allowed to re-open outdoor seating by mid-May.

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Source: Reuters

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