France virus toll steadies, 83 new deaths

By Agence France-Presse

France on Tuesday reported 83 new deaths in hospital from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as key indicators remained steady two weeks into the relaxation of a lockdown.

A total of 28,530 deaths have now been recorded in France since the epidemic began, the health ministry said in a statement. This includes a slight revising down by 10 of the numbers who have died in nursing homes.

The numbers in intensive care fell by 54 patients to 1,555, a figure that had exceeded 7,000 at the peak of the crisis.

French officials have said there is no sign yet that the relaxation of the nationwide lockdown on May 11 has led to an increase in cases.

But caution is urged, with President Emmanuel Macron warning that the epidemic is not over.

The government is to announce on Thursday what measures can be eased in the next stage of the relaxation on June 2.

Cafes and restaurants currently remain closed while people can only venture 100 kilometres (60 miles) from their homes without a special reason.