Deaths from the novel Coronavirus in France since the start of the epidemic have risen to 1,995, including 299 persons who died within the previous 24 hours, according to an official tally on Friday evening.
This meant deaths had increased fourfold in the country’s hospitals in one week.
Up to Friday, 15,732 people infected with the virus had been hospitalised in 623 medical institutions. They included 3,787 patients in intensive care, an increase of 412 in one day, according to the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon.
The epidemic is now raging in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris and has over 10 million inhabitants.
The Director General also announced that a first batch of about 15 patients in intensive care would be evacuated to institutions in the centre of France this weekend.
The French health system is trying to prevent institutions in the worst affected regions from being swamped, by transferring more and more patients, mainly by train or military plane.