French Health Minister Olivier Véran will travel to Dunkirk in northern France on Wednesday when the government sees new measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the region, the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Jean Castex had discussed the local health situation earlier on Tuesday with the mayor of Dunkirk, a coastal town of 92,000 near the Belgian border.
“They agreed that, given the sharp deterioration in health indicators in recent hours, further steps need to be taken to curb the epidemic,” the statement said.
Dunkirk Mayor Patrice Vergriete had requested the conversation with Castex to “as soon as possible” investigate the situation in his city. Vergriete had said that the Dunkirk area exposes an incidence of 901 cases per week of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to a national average of 202.
Nationwide, the number of people treated in intensive care units in France for Covid-19 reached 3,407 on Monday, exceeding 3,400 for the first time since December 3, while the average increase in new cases peaked at 17 days.
Nice during locked weekend
The new figures were released after the Alpes-Maritimes region, which includes Nice in the south of France, on Monday announced a partial closure over the next two weekends in the coastal area between Menton and Théoule to combat a widening infection.
Unlike some of its neighbors, France has resisted a new lock-in to control more contagious variants and hopes that a curfew on the spot since December 15 could contain the pandemic.
Over the weekend, Véran said that the nationwide trend of infections had worsened in recent days.
The seven-day moving average of falls remained above 20,000 for the second day in a row on Monday, at 20,041, the highest since 20,466 on 5 February.
The total number of cases increased to 3.61 million, the sixth highest in the world.
The number of people in France who have died from Covid-19 has reached almost 85,000, the seventh highest number of deaths globally.
( Jowharwith REUTERS)