(Reuters) - France reported on Friday that the number of people who died from coronavirus infection over the past 24 hours increased by just 28 to 29,374, the third day the toll remained under 30 and the lowest three-day toll since lockdown started in mid-March.
On Thursday and Wednesday the toll stood at 27 and 23, after averaging over 50 in the previous seven days and 91 in the 33 days since the end of lockdown on May 11.
The health ministry also reported the number of people in hospital fell by 341 to 11,124 and the number of people in intensive care units fell by 24 to 879, with both numbers continuing weeks-long downtrends.
But the ministry also reported that the number of new coronavirus infections rose by 726 or 0.5% to 156,287, the highest daily increase in eight days.
Despite a steadily falling death toll and hospital numbers, a month after the end of lockdown the number of new infections has remained at several hundred per day.
In the past seven days, France counted on average 462 new infections per day, compared to 478 in the first week after lockdown ended on May 11.
Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Chris Reese and Toby Chopra