PARIS

In a surprising turn of events, the coronavirus death toll in France again took a sharp tick upwards on the second day of relaxed measures known as deconfinement, said the Health Ministry. 

On Tuesday there were 359 fatalities, and also a steep rise in cases of 96 over Monday. Deaths in hospital totaled 194 people, with 154 reported to have succumbed to the disease in nursing homes. The total number of fatalities in hospital to date is 17,003 and the total fatalities in nursing homes are 9,988.

Since the start of the outbreak, the death toll in France now stands at 26,991 with 140,227 infection cases.

The number of hospitalizations dropped dramatically on Tuesday, with cases standing now at 21,595, a drop of 689 patients from Monday. The number of those in intensive care fell to 2,542, down 170 patients.

Despite the severity of the virus, most people experience mild symptoms and recover. Since the beginning of record-keeping for the disease, 57,785 people have recovered in France from the epidemic and have returned home.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to 187 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed almost 290,000 people, with total infections reaching almost 4.23 million, while 1.8 million people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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