France doesn’t plan nationwide lockdown to deal with spike in coronavirus cases – National

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French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday his government was not planning a new national lockdown to contain a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, but would instead implement a series of less drastic measures.France has the seventh highest death toll from COVID in the world, and the government of President Emmanuel Macron is trying to tackle the virus while ensuring that economic and social activities, such as educating schoolchildren, can continue. continue as much as possible.

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Castex said new measures would include expedited testing for priority cases to reduce the time spent waiting for results, and targeted restrictions in particularly affected areas.

“The virus has been with us for several months and we need to be successful in living with it without getting drawn into a national lockdown narrative once again,” Castex said in a televised speech.

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France reported 9,406 new cases of COVID on Friday, following 9,843 new cases recorded on Thursday.

The government also revised its previous statistics on COVID to show that COVID deaths in France had increased by 80 in the past 24 hours to reach 30,893 victims.

France imposed a strict lockdown in March at the height of the outbreak’s first wave. This has succeeded in preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, but also dealt a heavy blow to the euro area’s second-largest economy.

This lockdown was relaxed around the beginning of May. Since then, the number of cases has gradually increased and the number of people sick enough to need hospital treatment has increased.

Castex said the rise in cases was of particular concern in three areas – the cities of Marseille and Bordeaux, and the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe.

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He said he had asked leaders in those areas to submit their proposals for local measures to contain the virus on Monday.

Local officials across France would have heightened powers to impose further restrictions if they deemed it necessary, including forcing some businesses to cut opening hours, the prime minister said.

Castex, who is himself in isolation after coming into contact with someone infected with COVID-19, said some French citizens have let their guard down against the disease.

They needed to be more disciplined when it comes to social distancing, washing their hands and wearing masks, he said.

“I solemnly appeal today to the sense of responsibility of each of you,” Castex said.

“The only way to successfully stop this epidemic is for us all to be vigilant and stand united.” (Written by Christian Lowe; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Catherine Evans and Elaine Hardcastle)

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