Issued on: 30/03/2020 – 20:03Modified: 30/03/2020 – 20:03

French health authorities reported 418 new deaths from coronavirus on Monday, taking the total to 3,024 or an increase of 16 percent, making France the fourth country to cross the 3,000 fatalities threshold after China, Italy, and Spain.

The daily government tally only accounts for those dying in hospital but authorities say they will very soon be able to compile data on deaths in retirement homes, which is likely to result in a big increase in registered fatalities.

Health agency director Jérôme Salomon told a news conference that the number of cases had risen to 44,550, a rise of 11 percent in 24 hours. 

However, the actual number could be much higher as only those deemed at high risk are currently being tested.

According to Salomon, the most reliable indicator of the virus’ spread is the daily admissions to hospital and intensive care.

“From the end of this week, we should have less people who are arriving at hospital and going into intensive care,” he said.

Salomon said 5,107 people were in a serious condition needing life support, up 10 percent compared to Monday, an increase speeding up again after slowing for two days.

France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic and officials have repeatedly warned it will take time for the measures to bear fruit.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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