PARIS: The number of people who died from Covid-19 in France increased by 330 to 25,531 on Tuesday, the sharpest rate of increase in six days, government data showed.
France’s health ministry said the number of people in intensive care units fell to 3,430 from 3,696 on Monday, down for a 27th consecutive day.
The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 25,775 from 25,548, also continuing a now uninterrupted three-week fall.
Lockdown easing starts May 11
France is set to begin easing its lockdown on May 11, when people will be allowed to move up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) around their residence without a justification form. Movement beyond 100 kms will still need a justification form.
Macron called for caution and “pragmatism” regarding travel outside the 100-kilometre zone to avoid accelerating the spread of the virus into low infection zones.
France released a colour-coded map last week, dividing the country into zones ranging from red for high infection areas to green for low infection zones. The map is designed to serve as a reference for lockdown easing measures.
The French government’s lockdown easing measures have drawn fire from critics who say they are confusing and the country is not ready to cope with the strict social distancing and other protective measures that will be required after May 11 to avoid a flare-up of the epidemic.
But the government has defended its time table with French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Monday asserting that, “economic life must resume imperatively and quickly”.