The number of people who have died from a coronavirus
infection in France increased by 278 or 1.1% to 25,809 on Wednesday, just 8 fewer than Spain, which saw its virus toll rise by 204 or 0.8% to 25,817.
The Health Ministry said in a statement the number of people in intensive care units fell by 283 or 8.3% to 3,147 in the biggest daily fall in four continuous weeks of declines.
The number of people in ICU - a key measure of a health system's ability to deal with the epidemic - is now well below half the peak of 7,148 seen on April 8.
The number of people in hospital with coronavirus also fell again to 23,983 from 25,775, also continuing an uninterrupted three-week fall.