The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in France dropped this weekend for this first time since September, after two weeks of new nationwide lockdown measures aimed at slowing surging infections and easing hospital strains.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care also fell for the first time in six weeks, according to figures released Saturday night, though virus patients still occupy 96 percent of France’s standard ICU beds.
The number of weekly infections per 100,000 people in France has now been falling for 14 straight days, and some doctors say they’re starting to see signs of relief in over-stretched ICUs.
But it remains too early to say whether the one-day drop in hospital numbers means France has hit the peak in this second surge of the pandemic.
France has reported more virus infections than any European country and has had 44,246 virus-related deaths. The government imposed a nationwide partial lockdown starting October 30 as the second surge hit and could start easing the measures December 1 if the number of virus patients in hospitals shows consistent decline.
Coronavirus: France's new COVID-19 cases and deaths rise sharplyThe number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases and deaths in France rose sharply in the last 24 hours, according to French health ministry data published ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: France's PM says easing COVID-19 lockdown now would be 'irresponsible'Prime Minister Jean Castex said there would be no easing of a second COVID-19 lockdown in France for at least two weeks, with the number of people in ... Coronavirus
France proposes delaying regional elections following uncertainties over coronavirusThe French government will propose delaying regional and departmental elections from March to June next year given uncertainties caused by the ... Coronavirus