PARIS (Reuters) – The number of daily new COVID-19 infections in France fell to 3,292 on Monday, the lowest figure since the start of the year, while the tally of patients in intensive care for the disease was down for the seventh consecutive day.
New cases always tend to dip on Mondays as fewer tests are conducted over the weekend, but the seven-day moving average of daily infections, which evens out reporting irregularities, fell to 17,767, a trough since Jan. 14, versus an April 14 peak of 42,225.
France exited its third lockdown a week ago and is hoping to gradually unwind all its major restrictive measures by the end of next month.
The reopening of outdoor bars and restaurants will go ahead on May 19, Health Minister Olivier Veran said earlier in the day.
The number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 decreased by 131 to a seven-week low of 25,666. And, amongst that total, patients in intensive care units for the disease stood at 4,870, the lowest since March 27.
The COVID-19 death toll grew by another 292 on Monday, at 106,684, the world’s eighth-highest. But, at 222, the seven-day moving average of daily new fatalities is the lowest since Oct. 26.
France’s 5.78 million cases count is the fourth-highest globally, behind the United States, India and Brazil.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by GV De Clercq, Editing by William Maclean)