France reported the highest daily number of deaths from COVID-19 since the onset of the coronavirus epidemic on Monday. 418 other people died in the hospital to increase the number of victims to 3,024.
In France, 20,946 people with COVID-19 are currently in hospital, including 5,056 in intensive care, the government said in its daily update.
The French death toll includes only those who died in hospitals and not those who died at home or in old people's homes.
France has been banned since March 17 to slow the spread of the epidemic, and officials have repeatedly warned that the measures will take some time to bear fruit.
Top French health official Jerome Salomon told reporters that the numbers are "in no way decreasing, we are in the middle of the epidemic".
He noted that infection growth in neighboring Italy had "slowed down" in the past few days and expressed hope that the numbers in France could show signs of improvement later this week.
"The goal of detention is to massively reduce contacts between people," he said.
"Our daily goal should be to have as few contacts as possible. If we reduce the number of contacts, the virus can no longer spread from one person to another and the number of infected people should decrease."
According to Salomon, the most reliable indicator of the spread of the virus is daily admission to a hospital and intensive care unit.
"By the end of this week, we should have fewer people arriving at the hospital and going to the intensive care unit," he said.
He said 44,450 people in France tested positive as infected, while the actual number could be much higher, as only those at high risk are currently being tested.
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