June 10, 2020 / 6:08 PM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-New coronavirus deaths in France sharply down, but cases rise

(Adds details, context)

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - France’s new death toll from COVID-19 on Wednesday was only one-third of the tally the day before but the total of new confirmed infections rose again, one month out of a strict lockdown.

The health ministry said the death toll was up by only 23 - versus an average daily increase of 53 over the previous 15 days - to 29,319, the fifth-highest total in the world. On Tuesday, 87 COVID-19 deaths were reported.

But the number of new confirmed cases was 545; that figure had stayed below the 500 threshold during the previous three days. Over the last 15 days France has reported a daily average of 639 new confirmed cases.

According to Reuters calculations, if probable cases of coronavirus in care homes are added to the calculation, France’s total number of cases stands at more than 191,000, the ninth-highest tally in the world on that basis.

The number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 continued its weeks-long decline, falling by 283 to 11,678 on Wednesday. At the peak of the outbreak in mid-April, that number reached 32,292.

The number of people in intensive care fell by 22, or 2.4%, to 933, versus a high of 7,148 on April 8.

Both numbers are important measures of a health system’s ability to deal with the pandemic. (Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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