Second wave of coronavirus could strike France in November: government adviser


FILE PHOTO: A health worker, wearing a protective suit and face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test site at Bassin de la Villette in Paris, France, August 25, 2020. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) – A second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could strike France in November, a government adviser told local media on Wednesday, as the city of Marseille tightened restrictions to fight the outbreak.

Authorities in Marseille said on Tuesday evening that bars and restaurants will have shorter opening hours and also expanded compulsory mask wearing in the southern port city between August 26 and September 30.

“We fear a second wave in November,” Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council advising the government on the pandemic, told France 2 on Wednesday.

France has the seventh highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world, and the government is monitoring the numbers closely to see if further restrictions or a lockdown are needed.

Under the new measures, bars and restaurants in Marseille will have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. local time (2100-0400 GMT), having previously been able to remain open until the normal closing time of midnight or 1 a.m.

The compulsory wearing of the mask will now be compulsory outdoors in public spaces in all parts of the city, having previously only been compulsory in certain areas.

The French Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported 3,304 new coronavirus infections, well below the daily highs seen last week, although more young adults are testing positive.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in France stands at 30,544 deaths, including 16 in the last 24 hours.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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