Coronavirus hospitalizations in France dropped this weekend for the first time since September. The number of patients in intensive care units is also going down for the first time in six weeks.
France has reported more coronavirus cases than any other European country and nationwide lockdown measures were issued October 30, including closing all restaurants, bars and gyms.
The move was to try to give hospitals relief after daily COVID-related deaths reached their highest levels since March. Just last week, COVID-19 patients took up more than 92% of ICU beds, which is the last line of defense for severely ill patients.
While the number of weekly infections per 100,000 has been falling for 14 days straight now, it's still too early to say whether the country has reached the peak of its second surge. But partial lockdown measures could be eased starting December 1 if the number of daily cases and hospitalizations are still declining.
On Thursday, France's prime minister said the objective is to soften measures by the Christmas season so that the French can spend the holidays with their immediate families.