France’s Macron announces new Covid-19 squeeze amid rising cases

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France is pushing for a possible new shutdown as President Emmanuel Macron holds a TV address on Wednesday with the aim of stopping a rapidly rising tide of coronavirus patients in French hospitals. See his address live at 20:00 Paristid (GMT + 2).

Over the past few weeks, France has reported tens of thousands of new infections a day and now registers more than 380 new cases each week. 100,000 people.

Health officials recorded 523 virus-related deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday, the highest daily figure since April, bringing the country’s total death toll to 35,541, the third highest number in Europe after Britain and Italy.

Many French doctors have called for a new nationwide shutdown, noting that 58 percent of the country’s intensive care units are now occupied by Covid-19 patients and medical staff are under increasing pressure.

“The government did not take into account what the first wave was and did not learn all its lessons,” Frederic Valletoux, president of the French Hospital Association, told France Inter radio on Wednesday.

He called for a full monthly lockout and said “this wave will be much more devastating to the hospital system. Hospitals will not succeed if we do not take drastic measures. ”

Some French doctors, nurses with Covid-19 asked to work when the country’s cases increase

The French government has been reluctant to impose a new shutdown that will crush the economy even harder, and business executives have warned that a total shutdown will force another wave of layoffs and bankruptcies.

Economists warn that a complete blockade could affect Europe more broadly if other European countries are hit hard by rising infections and then follow France’s lead.

Earlier Wednesday, Germany announced a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities in an attempt to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus infections following similar measures in Italy and Spain.

( Jowharwith AFP and REUTERS)