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Macron to Address Nation as France Extends Coronavirus Lockdown
By Staff, Agencies
A nationwide lockdown is expected to be extended in France as President Emmanuel Macron's government struggles to contain the spread of the coronavirus ravaging the country.
The confinement order "will be extended" beyond its current limit of April 15, a presidential official told AFP, adding that Macron will address the nation on Monday evening to present the new decisions on the fight against the virus.
Earlier Wednesday, France reported 541 more deaths from COVID-19 in hospital over the last 24 hours, bringing its total official toll from the coronavirus epidemic to 10,869.
Top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters that there were now 7,148 people in intensive care, a net increase of 17 from the day earlier, the lowest increase recorded in recent weeks.
He said that due to a technical fault there was no daily data available Wednesday from nursing homes, meaning that the overall death toll is likely incomplete.
The death toll from hospitals was slightly lower than the comparable number from the day earlier, which was 597.
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.
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