The new deaths – 227 in hospitals and 168 in nursing homes – brought France’s total epidemic death toll to 19,718, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.
Salomon added that the total number of people in intensive care units fell for the 11th day in a row, to 5,744 – the lowest level since March 30. France also reported a total of 151,793 infections.
This drop in new cases came as it emerged ‘minuscule traces’ of the virus have been found in Paris’s non-potable water – such as the supply used for cleaning streets.
However, drinking water is at no risk of contamination, a city official said today.
Parisians, some wearing protect face masks, shopping along the Rue Mouffetard in the French capital today – the 34th day of a strict lockdown in France
A street cleaner works along Rue de Charonne in Paris (file photo). ‘Tiny traces’ of COVID-19 were discovered in the the water network of the French capital, which is used mainly by the municipality to clean the streets
The Paris water authority’s laboratory detected tiny amounts of the virus in four of 27 samples collected from around the capital, leading to an immediate shutdown of the network as a precaution, Celia Blauel said.
‘The confinement is working,’ Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in the press conference.
Drinking water is supplied from a ‘totally independent’ network and ‘can be consumed without any risk,’ stressed Blauel, the city’s top environmental official.
Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine River and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean streets and to water the greenery in the city’s parks and gardens – currently closed to the public – as well as supplying their ornamental fountains.
The city of Paris is consulting the regional health agency for a risk analysis before deciding how to proceed, Blauel said.
Operators unloading a Ukrainian plane coming from China to deliver 8.6 million face masks and 150 tonnes of sanitary equipment ordered by a private customer, at the Paris-Vatry airport in Bussy Lettree today
More than 100,000 of this total have passed away in Europe alone, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The total number of deaths reported by Italy since the start of the health crisis in February now stands at 23,660, with a total of 178,972 infections.
Spain today registered a sharp drop in its daily death toll from the virus with 410 new fatalities – the lowest in almost a month.
Infections rose to 195,944, with 4,218 new cases in the past 24 hours, an increase of just 2.4 per cent.