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Odishatv Bureau

Washington: More than four million confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported around the world, according to a data collated by Johns Hopkins University.

The global death toll has also risen to above 277,000, the BBC reported citing the data.

The US remains the worst-hit country, accounting for over a quarter of confirmed cases and a third of deaths.

Experts warn the true number of infections is likely to be far higher, with low testing rates in many countries skewing the data.

Daily death tolls are continuing to drop in some nations, including Spain, but there is concern that easing lockdown restrictions could lead to a "second wave" of infections.

In addition, governments are bracing for economic fallout as the pandemic hits global markets and supply chains.

A senior Chinese official has told local media that the pandemic was a "big test" that had exposed weaknesses in the country's public health system. The rare admission, from the director of China's National Health Commission, Li Bin, comes after sustained criticism abroad of China's early response.

France's COVID-19 fatalities up by 80 to 26,310

The death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic in France rose by 80 on Saturday, the lowest daily increase since March 22, while hospitalisation-related figures staged a declining trend, official data showed.

Hospitals and nursing homes figures showed that combined fatalities caused by the coronavirus stood at 26,310, the country's Heath Ministry said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

The number of new hospitalizations and serious cases continued to slow down, suggesting that the national lockdown put in place in mid-March, is bearing fruit.

As of Saturday, 22,614 patients were hospitalized, compared with 22,724 a day before and 23,208 on Thursday. The number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) had fallen by 56 to 2,812, consolidating an improvement in the ICUs reported in early April.

Some 433 people had caught the illness in the last 24 hours, bringing the total positive cases to 138,854. It was slower than 642 new infections confirmed on Friday.

"The epidemic is still active and evolving and the virus is circulating in many areas of the territory. We must continue our efforts to further respect physical distance from at least one meter, all barrier gestures, including wearing a face mask when the distance of one meter cannot be respected and reducing our contacts to the maximum," the ministry said.

"These measures remain essential for the coming weeks. This spirit of responsibility is necessary for the good of all," it added.

France will start to unwind some restriction measures from May 11.

(IANS)

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