PARIS: French health authorities reported 365 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday (Mar 26), taking the total to 1,696.
The rise in the number of deaths represents a daily rise of 27 per cent, a marked increase from the previous day with the country now in its second week of lockdown.
READ: France struggling to curb rate of coronavirus pandemic
This daily government tally only accounts for those dying in hospital but authorities said they would soon be able to compile data on deaths in retirement homes, which is likely to result in a big increase in registered fatalities.
READ: France closes schools, urges elderly to stay home over coronavirus
During a press conference, health agency director Jerome Salomon added that the number of cases had risen to 29,155, a rise of 16 per cent in 24 hours.
Salomon said 3,375 people were in a serious condition needing life support, up 19 per cent compared to Wednesday and meaning that close to half of France’s 8,000 beds equipped with ventilation gear are occupied.