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French coronavirus death toll tops 18,000

82% of the deceased were older than 70 years of age

PARIS, April 17. /TASS/. The French coronavirus death toll has reached 18,681, head of the country’s health authority Jerome Salomon said at a press conference broadcast on the Health Ministry’s Twitter account.

"As many as 11,479 people died in hospitals, and another 7,203 passed away in elderly care homes and other social facilities. A total of 18,681 people have died since the epidemic broke out," he said, adding that 82% of the deceased were older than 70 years of age.

According to Salomon, 243 patients were taken into intensive care in the past 24 hours. A total of 31,120 people remain hospitalized and 6,027 are in intensive care.

As many as 1,620 patients recovered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 34,420. "This is very important, this is good news," the health authority’s chief pointed out, emphasizing the need to maintain the lockdown.

Coronavirus pandemic

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,190,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 147,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 553,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 32,008 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 2,590 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 273 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.