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(Bloomberg) — France reported it’s deadliest day on Friday as the number of deaths at the country’s hospitals rose. It also included more fatalities from nursing homes.

Still, daily intensive-care admissions fell for a fourth day, adding to signs that lockdown measures across Europe may be helping to bring the outbreak under control.

The health ministry reported 588 new hospital deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, the most yet, bringing the figure to 5,091 since the beginning of the outbreak. In addition, it reported 1,416 deaths from nursing homes, bringing the total number to 6,507. Nursing homes were partially included for the first time on Thursday.

France is the third-hardest hit country in Europe by deaths, behind Italy and Spain. The government will probably extend lockdown measures beyond April 15, and the country will need “massive” serology testing before it can end stay-at-home measures, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday.

In a positive sign, French intensive-care admissions appear to be slowing. The number of patients in ICU beds increased by 263 from a day earlier to 6,662. Jerome Salomon, the head of France’s public health agency, has repeatedly highlighted ICU admissions as the best measure of the intensity of the virus’ spread and its impact on the healthcare system.

He urged caution, though, as he presented the figures on Friday. “We’re not at all at the crest of this wave yet, and we’re even less at the beginning of a decline,” Salomon said.

Spain, Italy Deaths

Spain reported the first decline in new coronavirus deaths in four days on Friday, suggesting strict confinement measures there may be helping to bring the outbreak under control. Total deaths increased by 932 to 10,935, according to the Spanish health ministry.

In Italy, the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths stabilized on Friday, with officials expressing optimism that a four-week lockdown is beginning to curb Europe’s worst outbreak. The pace of both new deaths and new infections has flattened out over the past days.

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In France, the number of confirmed cases increased by 5,233 to 64,338.

Philippe has said France probably won’t end its confinement measures in a single step. The best way to restrict infections is to attack the virus, and lifting measures too early may end up hurting the economy, the World Health Organization said in a news conference on Friday.

(Adds comment from health official in sixth paragraph.)

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Topics #Bloomberg L.P. #Edouard Philippe #Europe #France #head #healthcare system #Italy #Jerome Salomon #Prime Minister #Spain #World Health Organization