French president Emmanuel Macron has introduced a 9pm-6am curfew for Paris and eight different large cities from Saturday in an try and curb the rise of coronavirus infections that threaten to overwhelm the nation’s hospitals.
“Our intensive care wards are below unsustainable strain,” Mr Macron mentioned in an interview with French tv stations on Wednesday night time.
The president mentioned the curfew, most likely lasting six weeks, would apply to the Ile-de-France area that features Paris, in addition to to Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
France is the newest European nation to impose a brand new spherical of measures to attempt to restrict a surge of Covid-19 circumstances. Berlin, for instance, final week imposed a curfew forcing bars, cafés and eating places to shut between 11pm and 6am.
In French cities below curfew, important employees, together with folks on night time shifts, can be authorised to maneuver round, however these with out permission can be topic to fines of €135, rising to €1,500 for repeat offenders. Earlier on Wednesday, the federal government reimposed a nationwide “state of well being emergency” making it simpler to implement restrictive measures.
Mr Macron denied his authorities had misplaced management of the pandemic, however expressed concern that infections had been being reported throughout the nation, whereas the primary wave that triggered a two-month lockdown from March to Might was confined largely to the Paris area and jap France.
“We’ve got not misplaced management,” he mentioned. “We’re in a worrying state of affairs which means we should neither panic nor do nothing in any respect.” The intention was to chop the variety of newly reported each day infections from the 20,000 seen now to three,000-5,000 on the finish of the six weeks.
Instances have been rising steadily for weeks, significantly in and across the cities of Paris and Lyon, and medical doctors and nurses have expressed concern that intensive care items will quickly once more be overwhelmed by Covid-19 sufferers.
Almost 9,200 coronavirus victims are presently in hospital in France, 1,673 of them in intensive care. On Wednesday, the authorities introduced an extra 104 hospital deaths over the earlier 24 hours, taking the general demise toll to over 33,000.
Mr Macron has beforehand mentioned that France needed to be taught to stay with the virus and that he wished to keep away from one other nationwide lockdown. He reiterated this on Wednesday. “The intention is to proceed to have an financial life,” he mentioned. “We are going to proceed to work. The financial system wants it . . . and our kids have to proceed to go to highschool.”
Quite a few sectors of the financial system, significantly journey, tourism and eating places, have been hit arduous by the pandemic, and Mr Macron vowed to increase authorities monetary help for companies affected by the curfew.
This week the organisers cancelled the Salon de l’Agriculture, the massive farm honest as a result of be held in Paris in late February and early March, due to the pandemic.