France to keep away from lockdown regardless of ‘clear worsening’ of coronavirus pandemic

This picture of a tv display reveals French Prime Minister Jean Castex as he speaks on the coronavirus state of affairs throughout a press convention at The Hotel Matignon in Paris on September 11, 2020. — AFP/Thomas Coex

PARIS: French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned Friday the nation was seeing a “clear worsening” of the coronavirus pandemic, however mentioned he would intention to keep away from a brand new nationwide lockdown that will additional hammer the financial system.

Nearly 10,000 new instances have been recorded on Thursday, a report since wide-scale testing started, however Castex mentioned a latest enhance in Covid-19 hospitalisations was significantly worrying.

“We have to succeed in living with this virus, without returning to the idea of a generalised lockdown,” he mentioned in a televised assertion from his official residence in Paris.

“Our strategy is not changing. We must fight the virus without putting on hold our social, cultural and economic life, the education of our children and our ability to live normally,” he added.

Castex mentioned 42 of France’s 101 departments are actually categorized as “red zones” the place the virus is circulating quickly, up from 28 earlier this week.

“There is no Maginot Line — inevitably it ends up reaching the most vulnerable,” he mentioned, referring to the supposedly unbreakable defences France constructed forward of World War II.

But he didn’t announce any main new restrictions, urging folks as a substitute to respect social distancing tips and the usage of face masks.

And the quarantine interval for individuals who catch the virus will likely be shortened to only seven days from 14, to higher match “the period when there is a real risk of contagion,” he mentioned.

The transfer is a tacit acknowledgement that imposing quarantines has confirmed almost inconceivable given the variety of new instances.

‘Tough selections’

Castex additionally mentioned testing capacities can be ramped up in response to lengthy wait occasions for appointments and outcomes.

Priority instances involving folks with confirmed publicity to Covid-19 sufferers or already displaying signs will likely be given reserved spots at testing centres, and a pair of,000 extra folks will likely be employed to hold out contact tracing.

Officials have been more and more involved concerning the excessive variety of infections in France, even when the demise toll and admissions to intensive care are means under the highs recorded in March and April.

The health ministry mentioned 9,843 new coronavirus infections have been recorded on Thursday, the best quantity since large-scale testing started.

France’s complete demise toll from the pandemic now stands at 30,813.

The head of the scientific council advising the federal government on the pandemic, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, mentioned Wednesday that the federal government could quickly need to make “tough” selections to sluggish the outbreak.

People at excessive threat due to previous age or health issues together with diabetes, weight problems and respiratory points could require a protecting “bubble” round them, for instance.

There was the hazard of a “very rapid, exponential rise” in some locations, Delfraissy mentioned, singling out the French Riviera and Provence areas.

Castex himself is in a seven-day interval of self-isolation, having spent a part of final weekend with the boss of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme, who examined optimistic for Covid-19. Castex was later deemed virus-free after an preliminary take a look at.

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