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French medic hopes public are 'responsible' as cases dip

The rate of new coronavirus infections slowed again in France on Friday (November 27), according to health ministry data.

The drop came as shops, such as this department store in Paris, are allowed to resume selling non-essential goods this weekend.

But doctors at an ICU unit in Nice say it's running at double its normal bed capacity.

And department head Carole Ichay says people still need to be cautious.

"I hope people are going to be responsible. I hope we won't regret this lifting of the lockdown. The shopkeepers are making an effort, and now it's everyone's responsibility."

The unit is 90% full.

Bed occupancy has fallen for the last two days - but it's too early to draw any firm conclusion that the worst has past.

President Emmanuel Macron said this week that a nationwide virus lockdown in place since Oct. 30 could be lifted on Dec. 15 if by then the number of new infections per day fell to 5,000 -- and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care declined to between 2,500 and 3,000.