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Paris, May 4, 2020
Figures released by the French Health Ministry showed that coronavirus-linked fatalities in the country rose by 135 to 24,895, representing the lowest daily toll since March 22.
Among the 25,815 hospitalized patients, 3,819 were in intensive care units (ICUs), down from 3,827 on Saturday, confirming a continued slowdown for the third running week on Sunday.
A total of 131,287 people have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the epidemic. That was up from 130,979 cases confirmed on Saturday.
France has entered a lockdown in mid-March. Now, it's planning to lift the two-month confinement by opening gradually schools and shops and unwinding restriction on people movement as a slowing-down spread of the virus put less pressure on hospitals in the last three weeks.
Meanwhile, the government decided to extend the state of health emergency it declared on March 24, by another two months to stem the coronavirus outbreak and address a possible resurgence of the COVID-19 when the lockdown ends on May 11.
"We must not relax our collective efforts which are bearing fruit and which are effectively curbing the epidemic. To succeed in the gradual lifting of containment, it is more than ever necessary to scrupulously apply all barrier gestures, respect the minimum physical distance of one meter and reduce contacts," the ministry said.
"All together we have fought against the spread of the epidemic...All together we will fight against the risk of epidemic resurgence," it added.