France must not lower its guard against COVID-19, according to the minister

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FILE PHOTO: People, wearing face masks, walk inside Westfield Forum des Halles shopping center in Paris as France enforces the wearing of masks in closed public spaces as part of efforts to curb the resurgence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the country, July 20, 2020. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Health Minister on Wednesday urged the country not to lower its guard against COVID-19, saying it faces a long battle and that following social distancing rules is vital for avoid a new national lockdown.

France reported 14 new deaths from the new coronavirus on Tuesday, a figure twice as high as the daily average increase of seven seen in the previous week. A total of 30,223 have died from COVID-19 in France today, health authorities said.

“We are not facing a second wave, the epidemic continues… Some people do not play by the rules. We must not lower our guard ”, declared the Minister of Health Olivier Veran on LCI television.

“We don’t want to resort to another foreclosure, we are looking at the situation on a case-by-case basis. The war is not over… People need to understand that we are going to be living with this virus for quite a long time.

Veran was asked if he would advise against going on vacation to the Breton seaside resort of Quiberon after a COVID-19 cluster was reported there last week and local authorities ordered a nighttime curfew for beaches .

“In Quiberon, there is a cluster of around fifty people. We are looking at the situation. It will depend on the spread of the virus. If we have to take other measures, we will take them, ”he said.

The Quiberon prefecture later said there were now 72 confirmed cases, mostly people between the ages of 18 and 25.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Edited by Alex Richardson and Timothy Heritage

Our standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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