By Sudip Kar-Gupta
PARIS (Reuters) – The death toll in France from the coronavirus has risen by 242 to 22,856, the health ministry said on Sunday, as the government prepares to see how it might ease a national lockdown that has been in place since mid-March.
While the number of deaths from the virus has risen, the rate at which the casualties have mounted has steadily fallen over the last two weeks, emboldening those who want France to start to lift the lockdown measures.
The numbers of people leaving intensive care units (ICUs) has also outpaced the numbers of those entering those units.
The lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron to slow the spread of the virus has been in place since March 17 and is due to be lifted on May 11.
Macron is aiming to ease some of the lockdown measures on May 11 by initially…