France Corona Virus death toll reaches 13,000

Eiffel Tower at night seen from The Esplanade du Trocadero, Paris, France

France reported 987 new deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, death toll tops 13,000.

The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France increased by nearly 1,000 to 13,197 but the number of people in intensive care units fell slightly for the second day in a row as the effect of nationwide confinement started to show, health ministry director Jerome Salomon told reporters on Friday.

The health ministry said 7,004 people were in intensive care, a fall of 62 or 0.9% following a 1% fall on Thursday.

“We seem to be reaching a plateau, albeit a high level,” he said.

A child aged under 10 infected with COVID-19 died but Salomon said that there were “multiple” causes of the death. On a more positive note, Salomon said there were now 62 fewer people in intensive care, continuing a trend first seen on Thursday.

France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic, with only essential trips allowed that must be justified with a signed piece of paper.

French President Emmanuel Macron is due on Monday to address the nation for a third time during the crisis.

He is expected to announce that the lockdown will be extended beyond its current April 15 expiration date.