Acknowledging that his country had not been sufficiently prepared at the outset to deal with the challenges posed by the new coronavirus epidemic, Macron said that the unprecedented restrictions put in place were working.
“The epidemic is starting to slow down. The results are there, “Macron said in a televised speech to the nation. “Thanks to your efforts, we have made progress every day. “
“But our country was not ready enough for this crisis. We will all draw the consequences, ”said Macron.
Macron’s prime time address came as France ended a fourth week in custody, residents ordered to stay at home, except to buy food, go to work, consult a doctor or exercise on their own.
After an unrelenting increase until the first week of April, the number of patients in intensive care units in French hospitals began to decrease, prompting health officials to call a plateau in the deadly epidemic.
But if French hospitals are on the verge of coping, helped by a massive effort to transfer patients by plane, helicopter or even high-speed train from hospitals in the east and from Paris to the west, the houses rest were overwhelmed.
On Monday, the coronavirus had killed 14,967 people in France, the fourth global death toll, with more than 98,076 confirmed cases, according to official figures.
Macron said that by May 11, France would be able to test anyone with symptoms of COVID-19. Schools and kindergartens will gradually reopen, he said.
Although Macron’s popularity initially increased after following Italy and Spain by introducing drastic restrictions on public life, his government has been accused of failing to resolve a shortage of masks and test kits.
Report by Michel Rose, Matthias Blamont and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Richard Lough
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