PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Jean Castex introduced on Thursday an unlimited extension of the nightly curfew that’s meant to curb the spiraling unfold of the coronavirus, saying “the second wave is right here.”
The curfew imposed in eight areas of France final week, together with Paris and its suburbs, is being prolonged beginning Friday at midnight to 38 areas and Polynesia, Castex mentioned. It’s to final six weeks earlier than a evaluation, he mentioned.
“In France, like in every single place in Europe, the second wave is right here,” Castex mentioned at a information convention, including that “nobody is spared.”
The extension signifies that 46 million of the 67 million individuals dwelling in France will likely be underneath curfews.
The virus is spreading much less quickly through the second wave however extra extensively, the prime minister mentioned. The variety of circumstances of COVID-19 has doubled in France up to now 15 days.
“The scenario is grave,” Castex mentioned.
Greater than 34,000 individuals have died in France because the begin of the pandemic, one of many highest loss of life tolls in Europe. The variety of circumstances reported day by day has floated round 30,000.
The prime minister mentioned the nationwide hospital mattress occupancy price is now at greater than 44% % and that 4 areas, together with Paris, have greater than half of their intensive care unit beds stuffed by COVID-19 sufferers, together with the Paris area.
A number of different authorities ministers joined Castex on the information convention as he ready a lot of the nation for a stay-at-home life and the necessity to put on masks open air.
France has been utilizing a focused strategy to curb the virus, however a few of the areas to go underneath a curfew have but to achieve alert-level an infection charges. Castex mentioned these areas are being positioned underneath curfew for preventive causes.
“The weeks forward will likely be robust…and the variety of lifeless will improve,” he mentioned.
French Well being Minister Olivier Veran referred to as the speed at which the virus is spreading “alarming” even whether it is much less fast than earlier within the pandemic. The map of areas to go underneath curfew exhibits that infections are reaching past large cities and into much less populated and even rural areas.
ICU beds signify a serious problem, he mentioned, and scheduled operations are being delayed to unencumber beds. France has elevated its ICU beds from 5,100 to five,800 however can go shortly to 7,700 beds to deal with COVID-19 sufferers.