French coronavirus deaths reach 22,856 as govt eyes how to ease lockdown

By Sudip Kar-Gupta PARIS (Reuters) - The death toll in France from the coronavirus has risen by 242 to 22,856, the health ministry said on Sunday, as the government prepares to see how it might ease a national lockdown that has been in place since mid-March. While the number of deaths from the virus has risen, the rate at which the casualties have mounted has steadily fallen over the last two weeks, emboldening those who want France to start to lift the lockdown measures

Reuters April 27, 2020 00:11:25 IST
French coronavirus deaths reach 22,856 as govt eyes how to ease lockdown

French coronavirus deaths reach 22856 as govt eyes how to ease lockdown

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

PARIS (Reuters) - The death toll in France from the coronavirus has risen by 242 to 22,856, the health ministry said on Sunday, as the government prepares to see how it might ease a national lockdown that has been in place since mid-March.

While the number of deaths from the virus has risen, the rate at which the casualties have mounted has steadily fallen over the last two weeks, emboldening those who want France to start to lift the lockdown measures.

The numbers of people leaving intensive care units (ICUs) has also outpaced the numbers of those entering those units.

The lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron to slow the spread of the virus has been in place since March 17 and is due to be lifted on May 11.

Macron is aiming to ease some of the lockdown measures on May 11 by initially re-opening schools, although the government has yet to finalise how this might work in practice.

France has also offered retailers some relief by saying it wants them to reopen on May 11, although some curbs could remain in certain areas to delay any new wave of the virus.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is due to present the government's plan to unwind the lockdown to parliament on April 28, and parliament will then vote on the measures.

Philippe wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday that the government plan would centre on six key areas - public health, schools, businesses, public transport and public gatherings.

The scientific council advising the government on the pandemic wrote over the weekend that school children aged 11-18 should wear masks to help thwart the virus.

Politicians are also debating whether or not to proceed with a software and mobile phone application aimed at being able to trace the coronavirus, with some expressing concerns over the potential for data abuse and privacy violations.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.