France's daily coronavirus deaths drop to 395 – a three-week low

France’s daily coronavirus deaths drop to 395 – the lowest in three weeks – as ‘minuscule traces’ of bug are found in water used for Paris street cleaning

  • France has reported 395 new deaths from coronavirus during the last 24 hours 
  • New deaths included 227 patients in hospitals and 168 nursing home residents
  • The latest figures brought the total epidemic death toll in France up to 19,718
  • ‘Tiny traces’ of the virus were found in Paris’s water used for cleaning the streets
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

France today reported 395 deaths from coronavirus in 24 hours as the number of new hospitalisations continued a slow decline.

The new deaths – 227 in hospitals and 168 in nursing homes – brought France’s total epidemic death toll to 19,718, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.

This drop in new cases came as it emerged ‘minuscule traces’ of the virus have been found in Paris’s non-potable water – such as the supply used for cleaning streets.

However, drinking water is at no risk of contamination, a city official said today.

Parisiens, some wearing protect face masks, shopping along the Rue Mouffetard in the French capital today – the 34th day of a strict lockdown in France

A street cleaner works along Rue de Charonne in Paris (file photo).  ‘Tiny traces’ of COVID-19 were discovered in the the water network of the French capital, which is used mainly by the municipality to clean the streets

The Paris water authority’s laboratory detected tiny amounts of the virus in four of 27 samples collected from around the capital, leading to an immediate shutdown of the network as a precaution, Celia Blauel said.

Drinking water is supplied from a ‘totally independent’ network and ‘can be consumed without any risk,’ stressed Blauel, the city’s top environmental official.

Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine River and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean streets and to water the greenery in the city’s parks and gardens – currently closed to the public – as well as supplying their ornamental fountains.

The city of Paris is consulting the regional health agency for a risk analysis before deciding how to proceed, Blauel said.

Operators unloading a Ukrainian plane coming from China to deliver 8.6 million face masks and 150 tonnes of sanitary equipment ordered by a private customer, at the Paris-Vatry airport in Bussy Lettree today

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