PARIS (Reuters) -The number of COVID-19 patients in French hospitals fell for the third consecutive day, with the overall number down by 424 to 29,487 and the number of patients in intensive care wards down by 75 to 5,804.
The health ministry reported 26,538 new confirmed virus infections, taking the total to 5.59 million, an increase of 3.4% over last Thursday and the lowest week-on-week percentage increase since the last week of December.
The seven-day moving average of new cases, a closely watched indicator, is now down to just over 26,000, from a high of more than 42,000 mid-April.
France also reported 306 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals on Thursday, down from 315 on Wednesday.
In an interview with regional French newspapers on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that France’s lockdown conditions would be gradually unwound over the next two months.
From May 19, a nightly curfew will be pushed back from 1900 CET to 2100, shops will be allowed to reopen, and restaurants and cafes can open for outdoor service.
The curfew will be pushed back further to 2300 CET from June 9 and lifted from June 30.
(Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by Toby Chopra and David Gregorio)