FRANCE – COVID-19

France’s Macron hints tougher Covid measures are on the way

A woman wearing a protective mask walks past the Deux Magots café in central Paris as the French government prepares to announce tougher measures that could include new restrictions in the region around the capital, one of the hardest hit by the current wave of infection of the new coronavirus.
A woman wearing a protective mask walks past the Deux Magots café in central Paris as the French government prepares to announce tougher measures that could include new restrictions in the region around the capital, one of the hardest hit by the current wave of infection of the new coronavirus. AFP - LUDOVIC MARIN

French President Emmanuel Macron indicated Wednesday his administration was preparing to make new announcements to counter a worsening Covid-19 situation, hinting they would target most affected regions. Government ministers were slated to announce new measures on Thursday evening. 

Advertising

Macron hinted that his government was preparing to announce new measures to counter Covid-19, which are expected to expland restrictions in most-affected areas, including the Paris region.

“We have a very strong acceleration at the moment,” Macron said during a visit to an intensive care unit at a hospital in Poissy–Saint-Germain-en-Laye, west of Paris.

“As we’ve done from the start, we will continue to take decisions, and these will be pragmatic, proportional, regional, but correspond to the evolution of the epidemic,” the president said. “We will take the decisions we have to take.”

Macron met earlier in the day with the defence council grouping of ministers that makes the decisions on how to respond to the Covid-19 epidemic, after which the government indicated tougher measures were on the way.

“We have decided to take supplementary measures in several areas,” spokesperson Gabriel Attal said after the meeting.

 

Towards weekend lockdowns

Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran were to detail new measures during a weekly press conference at 6pm on Thursday.

Castex said Tuesday that weekend lockdowns of the kind already imposed in Nice and Dunkirk were on the table for the Paris region.

The number of people in France’s intensive care units fell for the first time in two weeks in official figures posted Wednesday, down by 20 to 4,219.

The Ile-de-France region around Paris, which had 1,177 people in ICU the previous day, is under pressure and has had to evacuate patients to emergency wards elsewhere in the country.

 

Analyses of epidemiological data showed the number of new cases in the Paris region have increased 20 percent over the past week, with 75 percent of cases due to the more contagious variant of the new coronavirus first detected in Britain.

The number of ICU patients peaked at just under 5,000 during the second lockdown last November, far below the peak of over 7,000 during the first lockdown in April.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning