France death rate down in May: stats body

By: AFP      Published: 10:14 PM, 12 Jun, 2020
France death rate down in May: stats body

The death rate in France returned in May to a level comparable with other years, following weeks of elevated mortality due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country's Insee statistics institute said Friday.

Between May 1 and June 1, 49,178 deaths were recorded, a decline of three percent on the same period last year, and similar to numbers for 2018, it said. 

The data is provisional and based on government statistics that do not divulge the cause of death.

The larger Paris Ile-de-France department is the only region in France where deaths are still "a bit higher" than levels recorded in previous years, Insee said.

The national data showed a drop of eight percent in the number of people who died in hospital in May, compared with last year, but a rise of five percent for deaths in retirement facilities, and seven percent for deaths at home.

For the period March 1 to June 1, there were 178,706 deaths in France -- a rise of 16 percent (25,200 deaths) from 2019 and of 12 percent (18,500 deaths) from 2018, said the institute.

The coronavirus has killed more than 29,300 people in France to date, some 10,300 of them in care homes.

The death toll has been in sharp decline, but the government warns the virus is still in circulation and urges people to keep a safe distance from others to prevent a new wave of infections.