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France heading for worst recession since World War II, says minister as COVID-19 cases at 98,984

PARIS: France could see its deepest recession this year since the end of World War II, due to the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned Monday.

“The worst growth figure in France since 1945 was -2.2 percent in 2009, after the financial crisis of 2008. We will probably be very far beyond -2. 2 percent” this year, Le Maire told a Senate panel.

“We have not reached the end of the ascent of this epidemic,” Health Minster Olivier Veran told reporters, as he announced the new toll which brought the total number killed in the coronavirus epidemic in France to 8,911.

The figures were a reminder to France — which has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the virus — of the long road ahead after several days where key data had improved somewhat.

France is now giving a daily combined toll of deaths in hospitals and nursing homes. Previously it had only given the hospital toll on a daily basis. Of the new deaths, 605 were registered in hospitals, Veran said.

“It is not over. Far from that. The path is long. The figures that I have announced show this,” he said. “Stay at home and continue this confinement effort,” he added.

Veran said that 478 more people had gone into intensive care over the last 24 hours, a higher figure than in previous days.

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