France Sees More Than 500 Coronavirus Deaths in a Day, Death Toll Surpasses 4,000
The French authorities have imposed nearly 360,000 fines for violating the coronavirus lockdown.
France registered 509 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, its highest daily death toll so far, bringing the total number of coronavirus fatalities to 4,032.
The new figure is a slight increase from the 499 fatalities in France during the previous 24-hour period, while the total number of cases has reached nearly 57,000, an increase of 9%.
Nearly 25,000 are hospitalized in France, with more than 6,000 of them intensive care, country’s Health Agency Director Jérôme Salomon told reporters in his daily update, as cited by France24.
France on Wednesday reported its highest daily number of deaths from Covid-19 since the coronavirus epidemic began, saying 509 more people had died in hospital to bring the toll to 4,032.
For the time being, however, the French death toll still does not include those who died at home or in nursery homes, although the government said it was trying to collect that data.
France has increased the number of beds in intensive care units from 5,000 to about 10,000 since the start of the crisis, and is aiming to reach 14,500 as soon as possible.
France is likely to unwind its nationwide coronavirus lockdown gradually rather than in one go, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told parliament on Wednesday.
“It is likely that we are not heading towards a general deconfinement in one go and for everyone,” Philippe told parliament by videoconference, as cited by France24.
A total of 359,000 fines for violating the lockdown had been issued in the country since it was introduced in mid-March.
The French government has ordered people to stay confined in their homes except for essential outings from March 17 until at least April 15.
With the latest fatalities, France has become the fourth country in the world to pass the threshold of 4,000 dead from the coronavirus according to official tallies – after Italy, Spain, and the United States.
Italy accounts for almost 30% of the global coronavirus death toll so far, with more than 13,000 fatalities, followed by Spain with 9,000, and the United States with more than 4,000.
More than 45,000 people have been killed by the coronavirus so far, with Italy, Spain, the USA, and France accounting for two-thirds of the deaths.
(Banner image: Edouard Philippe on Twitter)