May 7, 2020 / 5:48 PM / a month ago

France's coronavirus death toll just below 26,000

PARIS, May 7 (Reuters) - The number of people who have died from a coronavirus infection in France was up 178 or 0.7% to 25,987 on Thursday, the lowest rate of increase in four days.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said earlier in the day that France would start lifting its almost two-months old national lockdown from Monday.

The Health Ministry said in a statement the number of people in intensive care units fell by 186 or 5.9% to 2,961, a total below the 3,000 threshold for the first time since March 25.

The number of people in ICU - a key measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the epidemic - is now well below half the peak of 7,148 seen on April 8.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 23,208 from 23,983, continuing an uninterrupted three-week fall and down almost 30% from an April 14 peak of 32,292. (Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese)

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