PARIS, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The coronavirus claimed 365 lives in France in 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,696 while the total of confirmed cases jumped to 29,155, Director General of Health Jerome Salomon announced on Thursday.
A 16-year-old girl in the north-central French region of Ile-de-France had died of the virus, said Salomon at the daily briefing.
Currently the number of deaths only takes into account those who died in hospital, he noted. Deaths in retirement homes and at home will soon be compiled, which is likely to result in a big increase in fatalities, he added.
A total of 13,904 people are currently hospitalized, including 3,375 in serious condition, of whom 34 percent are under the age of 60 while 58 percent aged between 60 and 80. A total of 4,948 patients have recovered and were discharged from the hospital, said Salomon.
"The epidemic continues to worsen. The entire hospital establishments in the country, public and private, are mobilized," said Salomon, adding that 576 of them now receive COVID-19 patients.
In Ile-de-France, the most populous and now the worst hit region in France, a total of 483 deaths have been registered since the start of the epidemic, according to data released by the regional health agency.
In the last 24 hours, this region, also called "la region parisienne" (Paris Region) as it includes the city of Paris, has recorded 1,102 new infection cases -- bringing the total to 8,762, and 88 more deaths. A total of 1,297 patients are in intensive care units, with an average age of 58.