France reports lowest daily virus toll in five weeks
A man and a woman cross the Alma bridge over the river Seine on a cloudy day, with the Holy Trinity Cathedral (L) and the Eiffel Tower in background, on Labour Day (May Day) in Paris on May 1, 2020.–AFP
France reported 218 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the smallest number in a 24-hour period in more than five weeks.
Meanwhile 144 fewer people were being treated Friday in intensive care units, top health official Jerome Salomon said.
The number of ICU patients peaked at 7,200 on April 9.
The last time the country recorded such a low daily number of fatalities was March 23, when there were 186 registered deaths.
France has the fourth highest death toll in Europe, with 24,594.
For Europe as a whole, the death toll has topped 140,000, according to a tally compiled by AFP based on officials sources.
The government has announced the country's strict lockdown will be eased from May 11, but the pace will be slower in harder hit areas such as the greater Paris area and the northeast quarter of the country.