France mulls new curbs as Covid-19 cases hit new high

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Sep 18th, 2020, 11:15:15hrs

Paris, Sep 18 (IANS) French authorities have said that they would consider additional restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, notably in the country's red zones, following a surge in the number of positive cases, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

On Thursday, France reported 10,593 cases, a new single-day record since the previous hike of 10,561 registered on September 12, reports Xinhua news agency.

With the new cases, France's overall coronavirus caseload now stands at 454,266.

The death toll also surged to 31,103, up by 50 from Wednesday.

"If the sanitary situation does not improve, and if the number of intensive care admissions continues to grow in areas where strong measures have already been taken, particularly Marseille and Guadeloupe, it will undoubtedly be necessary to take even tougher measures," Veran told reporters on Thursday.

Stricter rules could include closures of bars and ban on public gathering, according to the minister.

In Nice and Lyon, where the virus was spreading at a rapid pace, local authorities must propose by Saturday the measures to be taken, said Veran.

Earlier this week, authorities in Bordeaux and Marseille banned public gatherings of more than 10 people in parks and on beaches and cut the public-event attendance limit to 1,000 from 5,000.

The coronavirus pandemic is "once again very active" in France, warned the Minister.

He noted that the vigilance threshold, which indicates the number of infected people per 100,000 inhabitants, is now at nearly 84 compared to 40 registered in mid-August and 10 at the end of July.

"If everyone reduces his number of social contacts, this would help reduce the spread of the virus," Veran added.

--IANS

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