Coronavirus: Easing restrictions

France reports 113 new deaths, lowest since October

PARIS • France reported the lowest number of Covid-19 deaths since October, health ministry data showed, on the eve of an easing of the country's lockdown restrictions.

The country reported 113 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals on Sunday, down from 195 on Saturday. The number of people in intensive care rose by four over 24 hours, to 5,585, halting five consecutive days of decline.

There were also 9,888 new confirmed virus infections, taking the total to 5.65 million - the world's fourth highest.

France's death toll since the start of the epidemic stands at 104,819, the eighth highest tally globally. The country began its third national lockdown at the end of March to tackle a surge in cases.

Under pressure from business and a weary public, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday a four-phase plan to ease restrictions.

A restriction limiting people to a 10km radius from their homes was to be lifted yesterday and more schools will partly reopen. Elementary schools are already open.

From May 19, France will start relaxing a nightly curfew and allow cafes, bars and restaurants to offer outside service.

Apart from the weeks of lockdown, France has accelerated its vaccination campaign.

The health ministry on Sunday said 15.8 million, or 23.7 per cent of the population, have received a first shot of vaccine and 6.5 million, or 9.4 per cent of the population, have received two shots.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2021, with the headline 'France reports 113 new deaths, lowest since October'. Subscribe