France reports its biggest jump in coronavirus deaths

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 16 2020 08:43 AM

France reports its biggest jump in coronavirus deaths 1
People enjoy a sunny Sunday on the Seine river banks after France's Prime Minister announced to close most all non-indispensable locations, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs and shops as France grapples with an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Paris, France, March 15, 2020. Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

PARIS - France recorded 29 additional coronavirus deaths Sunday, the biggest one-day increase in the country since the outbreak, bringing the total death toll to 120, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

Around 900 more infections were recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 5,400 since January, Veran told France 2 television.

Separately, the national health agency Sante Publique France, which has been updating its tally daily, put the new toll at 127 deaths.

The sharp increase came as France held the first round of nationwide municipal elections Sunday, expected to show a record abstention rate as virus fears kept many people from polling stations.

Veran said government officials would meet with scientific advisers in the coming days to determine if the second round of voting will be held next Sunday.

"Probably on Tuesday I will ask them about the second round," Veran said, while refusing to be drawn on rumors the government will soon announce a complete lockdown and confine people to their homes.

"You hear all kinds of things, but if someone is going to sign such an order, I'll know about it," he said.

© Agence France-Presse