French sees effects of lockdown even as coronavirus death toll rises to 14,393

Police officers patrol the deserted Promenade des Anglais in Nice, as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in France, April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – The death toll in France from the coronavirus outbreak rose at a slightly slower pace on Sunday than a day earlier, the French public health authority said, adding that the lockdown was producing its first effects.

“This data confirms that the epidemic keeps going on in our country in a dynamic way and it continues to hit us hard,” the health authority said in a statement.

“Confinement measures, the application of barrier gestures, physical distancing for a minimum of 1 meter, social distance and a drastic reduction in contacts produce their first effects,” it added.

The death toll, which includes data from hospitals and nursing homes, rose by 561 to 14,393 as of Sunday. It increased by 635 on Saturday.

The health authority said it was important to remain vigilant because hospitals were still taking in a very large number of patients.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Marine Pennetier; Editing by Alison Williams

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