France reports 31 more coronavirus deaths, total at 29,142

France’s coronavirus death toll, the fifth-highest in the world, rose more slowly on Saturday, while the number of people in intensive care continued to fall, government data showed. The number of deaths from the COVID-19 disease increased by 31, or 0.1%, from the previous day to reach 29,142, according to data posted on the government’s website. That compared with 46 deaths, or a 0.2% rise, reported on Friday. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 579 to 153,634, the government data showed. The number of people in hospital intensive care units fell by 35 to 1,059, less than the decrease of 69 on Friday but extending a steady drop in critical cases since a peak of over 7,000 in early April. The total number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 fell by 217 to 12,479. The head of a COVID-19 scientific committee advising the French government said on Friday that the epidemic was under control. In another sign of the epidemic’s ebbing, the Paris police authority said a temporary mortuary set up in April in a vacant building at the Rungis wholesale food market south of the capital was shut down on Saturday. France has in the past month eased what was one of the strictest lockdown regimes in Europe to contain the novel coronavirus. This week, restaurants and bars have re-opened. According to Reuters calculations, if probable cases of coronavirus in long-term care homes are added, France’s total number of cases stands at around 190,000, the eighth-highest tally in the world on that basis.

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