The number of people who have died from the coronavirus infection in France rose by 427 to 24,087 on Wednesday, with the rate of increase slightly speeding up again after slowing on Tuesday, the health ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the number of confirmed cases now stands at 128,442, up 1,607 over 24 hours. The figure stood at 129,859 on Tuesday but was tweaked a day after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that France would not end its coronavirus lockdown unless the number of new cases falls below 3,000 per day.
"It's a statistical readjustment linked to a change in the sampling", a ministry spokesman said.
The death toll has increased by 1.8% over 24 hours, versus 1.6% on Tuesday and 1.9% on Monday. Out of the 24,087 total, 15,053 fatalities occurred in hospitals, a figure up 1.6%, and 9,034 in nursing homes, up 2%.
As Britain added nursing homes deaths to the tally from hospitals to give a total of 26,097 fatalities, it became the third-most affected country in the world behind the United States and Italy and ahead of Spain and France.
The number of people in French hospitals with the COVID-19 infection fell to 26,834 from 27,484 on Tuesday, recording a 2.4% decline, its sharpest since a downward trend began 15 days ago.
The number of people in intensive care fell 4.1% to 4,207, a figure almost half of the 7,148 on April 8 and down for the 21st consecutive day.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Kirsten Donovan)