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As coronavirus cases surge, France imposes second national lockdown
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 29 - 10 - 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced a month-long national lockdown to apply a "brutal brake" on coronavirus infections.
In a televised speech on Wednesday evening, Macron called for a "collective effort" to combat Covid-19, admitting recent efforts to contain the virus were "useful, but not enough".
"Difficult measures have to be taken," the president said.
"We have always said we have to live with the virus ... We have done all we can do and I believe our strategy and information has been good," he said. "But we have to admit, like our neighbors, we are submerged by the acceleration of the spread of the virus. All of Europe is surprised by the speed of the spread of the virus.
As part of the new measures, which will come into on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.
Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.
Coronavirus daily deaths in France are at the highest level since April. On Tuesday, 33,000 new cases were confirmed.
Macron said the country risked being "overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first".
The French president added that if the virus continued at the current rate, all of France's intensive care beds would be filled with COVID-19 cases by mid-November, causing the cancellation of other essential and sometimes life-saving operations.
He recognized that another lockdown — following the strict two-month confinement in March and April — would hit the French economy, adding: "The health system won't hold unless there is an economy to support it, but nothing is more important than human life.
"We could do nothing and adopt the idea of herd immunity ... in the short term this would mean patients being triaged and possibly 400,000 deaths."
Macron said the aim of the new restrictions was to reduce new infections from the current 40-50,000 a day to a treatable 5,000 a day. — Agencies


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