PARIS (Reuters) – The number of people admitted to hospital for COVID-19 in France resumed its decline on Tuesday, ending three straight days of increases as the country replaced a second national lockdown with a nightly curfew.
Patients in intensive care – the most important measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the pandemic – also went down by 25 to 2,881, resuming a continuous decline since Nov. 17.
That figure is still within the target level of 2,500 to 3,000 the government had set to decide the end of the lockdown that was put in place on Oct. 30 and was lifted on Tuesday.
But because the number of daily new infections has failed to fall below the 5,000 threshold – another official target – the government has opted for a less extensive loosening of restrictive measures than initially planned.
Health authorities reported 11,532 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, up from Monday’s 3,063 but largely stable from Sunday’s 11,533.
Case numbers generally dip on Mondays as there are fewer tests conducted on Sundays.
The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 infections rose by 790 to 59,072, up from 371 on Monday. The cumulative number of cases in France now totals 2,391,447, the fifth highest in the world.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Chris Reese, William Maclean)