PARIS (Reuters) – The number of new coronavirus infections and the number of people in hospital with the virus in France dropped sharply as a national lockdown went into its fourth week.
The health ministry reported the number of new cases rose by 9,155 to 2.15 million on Tuesday, compared with 4,452 on Monday – when numbers are usually low due to weekend reporting lags – and compared with 45,522 last Tuesday.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 fell by 859 to 30,622, the sharpest drop since the start of the lockdown on Oct 30 and the number of people in intensive care dropped by 165 to 4,289.
Both series have been falling almost without interruption for 11 days.
France also reported 1,005 new deaths from coronavirus, pushing the total above 50,000 for the first time at 50,237.
The tally included 454 deaths in hospital over the past 24 hours and 551 in retirement homes over several days. It reported 500 hospital deaths on Monday.
French President Emmanuel Macron will speak to the country at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) and is expected to announce some loosening of lockdown regulations in response to the falling infection rates.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Chris Reese and Jane Merriman)