PARIS: The number of COVID-19 patients in French hospitals has dropped slightly as a third nationwide lockdown put in place early in April starts to have an impact, but France continues to report about 300 new deaths per day.
Health ministry data showed that 5,914 people were in intensive care units with COVID-19 on Friday (Apr 16), 10 fewer than on Thursday and the second fall this week.
In a second sign that pressure on France's hospital system is starting to ease, the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 dropped by 196 to 30,472, the fourth consecutive drop this week, from a 2021 high of 31,262 on Monday.
"We are beginning to see a slowdown of the epidemic in those departments where we first introduced limits on the movement of people, and nationwide we are beginning to see a stabilisation. We must continue our efforts, as they are being rewarded," government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Friday.
France registered 309 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals on Friday, up from 296 on Thursday, when the cumulative toll since the start of the epidemic last year first rose above 100,000.