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Paris, May 1, 2020
France on Thursday reported 289 new coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths, taking the tally to 24,376, while hospital data continued to show encouraging indicators as the government plans to lift the lockdown on May 11, said health ministry director Jerome Salomon.
The increase of COVID-19-related deaths slowed to 1.1 per cent in the last 24 hours, the lowest increase on a weekday since the end of March.
Admissions in intensive care units (ICUs) dropped by 188 to 4,019, significantly lower from the peak of 7,200 reported on April 9. This important indicator to evaluate pressure on hospitals has been going down for the 22nd consecutive day.
Coronavirus-linked hospitalization fell again, consolidating a trend that has lasted over two weeks. Some 26,283 are receiving treatment in sanitary establishments, down from 26,834 on Wednesday, said Salomon at his daily briefing.
The total number of people who caught the illness since the beginning of the pandemic stood at 129,581, with 1,139 new infections in the past 24 hours, also down from Wednesday's 1,607.
Presenting the country's strategy to lift anti-coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday said the restriction on people's movement would remain in place if the number of new infections won't fall below 3,000 per day.
As the easing of lockdown will proceed progressively and adapt to the local situation, the Health Ministry on Thursday unveiled a provisional map showing regions coloring in red, orange or green depending on the level of the local health crisis.
The color code is based on two criteria -- the spread of the virus, measured by the percentage of coronavirus-linked cases in emergency treatment, and hospital tensions on resuscitation capacities.
On the map based on data till April 30, 35 worst affected regions were in "red", including the north-central French region of Ile-de-France.
The map will serve as a reference for the de-confinement on May 11. Regions in green might see the easing of lockdown measures occur more quickly, according to the Health Ministry.