PARIS (Reuters) -The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in France has fallen and the number of patients in hospital has also dropped, the health ministry said on Saturday, in a sign that pressure on the medical system is easing.
Health ministry data showed that 5,877 people were in intensive care units with COVID-19 on Saturday, 37 fewer than on Friday. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital fell by 143 to 30,329, the fifth consecutive fall.
France imposed a third nationwide lockdown this month to try to stem its third wave of infections.
It registered 189 new daily coronavirus deaths in hospitals in the space of 24 hours. Overall, France's COVID-19 death toll breached the 100,000 mark on Thursday, the eighth-highest in the world.
There were 35,861 new confirmed coronavirus cases, health ministry data showed. About 12.3 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.
"We're in a phase that looks more like a plateau than an improvement (of the situation)," Bruno Lima, a member of the scientific body advising the government on the COVID-19 pandemic, told the news channel BFM TV.
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Frances Kerry)