PARIS, May 13 (Reuters) - French health authorities reported 19,461 new confirmed COVID-19 infections on Thursday, representing a weekly rise of less than 2% for the first time in almost a year.
The total number of hospitalisations for the disease fell by 598, decreasing for the 10th day in a row to 23,656, the lowest since October 31.
The country reported 131 new deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday for an overall toll of 107,205, the eighth highest in the world.
The gliding seven-day average of new deaths fell further to 200, the lowest since Oct 26, from a 2021 high of 450 in early February.
After exiting its third lockdown at the start of the month, France is hoping to lift its last anti-COVID-19 measures at the start of July.
The next step will be the reopening on May 19 of bars' and restaurants' terraces as well as movie theatres and museums.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases has fallen to about 16,100 from more than 42,000 mid-April, when week-on-week increases in new cases were still over 6%.
With 5.84 million infections counted since the start of the pandemic, France is the fourth hardest hit country globally behind the United States, India and Brazil.
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