Over 574 new fatalities have been registered within the past 24 hours in France surging the death toll to 14,967 and at least 136,779 people have been infected with the COVID-19 disease, the health authorities announced as of April 13. Nevertheless, for the fifth consecutive day, the number of patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) reduced by 24 compared to the previous day. The day earlier, 554 patients had succumbed to the disease in hospitals and 433 in nursing homes. As many as 6,821 out of the total patients admitted to the medical facilities remain “critical”, according to reports.
As France prepares to extend the home confinement measures until May 11, President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address that the date would mark the beginning of a new phase in the country's fight against the pandemic, hinting that he might begin lifting the restrictions in phases. “It will be progressive and the rules can be adapted according to our results”, he said. “The epidemic is starting to slow down. The results are there,” he further added.
Declaring that “a very high plateau seems to be forming,” France’s top health official Jerome Salomon reportedly warned the country to stay vigilant as the pandemic was very much active despite the downturn in the death rate. The warning could be linked to the second wave of infections in China as the National Health Commission reported its highest number of fresh COVID-19 cases in more than five weeks.
Furthermore, despite the economy spiralling, health experts in France stressed that the contagion might witness a resurgence due to premature loosening of the confinement measures. They said that the government must balance public safety and economic turmoil hand-in-hand, as per media reports. Amid the tentative signs of improvement, France has issued mandatory orders for the public to stay-at-home until confinements were "officially relaxed" by the government.