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Paris, May 2, 2020
With 218 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, France registered the smallest one-day increase in fatalities since the end of March, a top health official said.
French Director General for Health Jerome Salomon said on Friday that the new deaths took the country's coronavirus toll to 24,594.
Salomon noted that hospital admissions were "falling slowly but regularly", easing pressure on France's hospitals.
However, he reiterated the need to respect movement restrictions.
A total of 130,185 COVID-19 cases were confirmed, up from 129,581, representing a single-day increase of 604 infections, down from Wednesday's 1,607.
Amid tentative signs of improvement, France, which imposed a national lockdown on March 17, plans to unwind confinement rules gradually on May 11.
"May 11 will not be the passage to normal life," President Emmanuel Macron said early on Friday in a speech to mark May Day.
"There will be several phases and May 11 will be one of them," Macron said. "It is too early to tell you that the crisis is over."