A new coronavirus lockdown has been imposed in France until at least December 1, hoping to bring under control an outbreak that is poised to overwhelm hospitals in a matter of days.
French President, Emmanuel Macron who made the announcement in a highly anticipated television address, on Wednesday, said: “The virus is spreading across France at a speed that even the most pessimistic did not predict.”
The president admitted that a curfew for Paris and other major cities imposed two weeks ago had failed to stop a second wave of cases that has sent the death toll in France to nearly 35,000.
Macron said, “As elsewhere in Europe, we are overwhelmed by a second wave that will probably be more difficult and deadly than the first. If we did nothing… within a few months we would have at least 400,000 additional deaths.”
Already more than 3,000 intensive care patients are forcing hospitals to scramble for beds, and “no matter what we do, nearly 9,000 people will be in intensive care by mid-November,” he warned.
On Wednesday, 244 new virus deaths and more than 36,000 new positive tests was reported by the Sante Publique France health agency over the past 24 hours.