Coronavirus in France: police dissociate a “giant” illegal party near Paris


Police near Paris intervened to break up a house party in the middle of the night attended by around 300 to 400 people in blatant disregard for health rules amid the country’s second lockdown.The organizer of the illegal Friday night festivities and the owner of the house were both taken into custody, AFP reported on Sunday citing police sources.

Alerted by neighbors in Joinville-le-Pont in Val-de-Marne, the police were attacked by “clearly intoxicated” revelers who threw bottles at them, according to the police headquarters.

The officers used special grenades to disperse the revelers. A man was injured and taken to hospital where he tested positive for COVID-19, police said.

On Saturday afternoon, they called on those present to get tested as soon as possible and self-isolate until they receive the results.

The prosecution said that an investigation had been opened into violence against public officials.

The party in the south-eastern suburbs of Paris attracted French media attention due to its size and the chaos that reportedly reigned in the house. Le Parisien said the property is equipped with a swimming pool, sauna and dance floor and is regularly rented out.

A brawl on the dance floor was already underway when police arrived, the newspaper reported. The party was announced on social networks.

Another smaller “clandestine” private party a few days earlier in southwestern France made headlines because it was hosted by nearly two dozen interns.

The police interrupted the rally at their residence at the Bigorre hospital in Tarbes around 4 a.m. on Wednesday. The revelers have been dressed by superiors and await possible punishment.

Police are in force across France to enforce the rules of a nationwide lockdown which began two weeks ago and is expected to remain in place at least until early December.

People are only allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons such as work, essential errands, or brief exercise. The schools remain open, unlike last spring. Widely seen as a light version of France’s spring lockdown, the renewed restrictions were taken less seriously by some.

French hospitals are stretched and delay some operations to treat COVID-19 patients.

The latest figures released by the French health authorities show that the number of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus continues to increase. On Saturday, the death toll since the start of the epidemic was more than 44,000.


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