May 17, 2020 / 6:00 PM / 20 days ago

France coronavirus death toll rises to 28,108: ministry

FILE PHOTO: People walk on the banks of the river Seine after France began a gradual end to a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Paris, France, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France reported 483 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 28,108, as the country eases out of a two-month lockdown.

The 483 fatalities figure compared with 96 fatalities on Saturday, and was the highest since April 23. But a health ministry spokeswoman said this took into account “additional data” provided by local health agencies.

“There is not a sudden rise in deaths,” she said.

The 483 figure includes 429 deaths in retirement homes.

The number of confirmed cases rose to 142,481 on Sunday from 142,291 on Saturday.

The health ministry said the number of people in hospitals fell to 19,361 from 19,432 on Saturday and the number of people in intensive care units dropped to 2,087 from 2,132 on Saturday.

Both numbers - key indicators for the French health system’s ability to cope with the epidemic - have been on a downtrend for four to five weeks and peaked at more than 32,000 and more than 7,000 respectively in early to mid-April.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Jean Stephane Brosse, Editing by Andrew Heavens

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