French Prime Minister Jean Castex looks on before taking part in the evening news broadcast of French TV channel. AFP
The French government said Wednesdeay it is preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 cases that could emerge in the coming months, but will not respond with another nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak.
"My aim is to prepare France for an eventual second wave, while preserving our daily life, our economic and social life," new Prime Minister Jean Castex said in an interview on RTL television.
"But we're not going to impose a lockdown like the one we did last March, because we've learned... that the economic and human consequences from a total lockdown are disastrous," he said.
Instead any business closures or stay-at-home orders would be "targeted" to specific areas, he said.
"The coronavirus is still here," Castex warned, adding that he would travel Sunday to France's South American territory of French Guiana, which is reeling from a surge in cases.
Officials reported 124 new cases in the territory on Tuesday, bringing the total to nearly 5,200, and the government has dispatched dozens of health workers from the mainland to reinforce hospital staff.
Castex was named by President Emmanuel Macron last week to lead a new government tasked with orchestrating the country's recovery from its worst health and economic crisis since World War II.
Billions of euros have been promised for investments as well as measures to limit job losses in an economy expected to shrink around 10 percent this year.
"We are going to protect people, but above all we are going to invest in the ecological transformation, in our country's recovery," Castex said.
He also confirmed he had increased a proposed wage hike and budget boosts for hospital staff by around one billion euros in negotiations with unions this week, bring the total envelope to 7.5 billion euros ($8.5 billion).
But union leaders say that would lift monthly pay for nurses, technicians and others on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight by only 180 euros a month, far short of demands for a 300 euro raise.
The outbreak has killed nearly 30,000 people in France since the first cases were reported in January.
Governments around the world are trying to stop the spread of the disease while scrambling for ways to relieve pressure on their economies, which are facing a historic downturn with millions pushed into unemployment.
The family’s big cats are kept on El Helw's farm an hour outside of Cairo, and El Helw says he brings them into the city for the shoots.
The accident occurred before daybreak, when the truck collided with another truck that was parked by a roadside eatery in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh state, Abhishek Singh Meena, the top district official said.
UAE's Embassy in London welcomed over 500 friends from the UK, UAE, and internationally to a grand reception at London’s famed Natural History Museum in South Kensington to commemorate 51 years since the founding of the UAE.
"On this day, we commemorate the bright memory of the Founding Fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the Founders of the Nation, as well as their determination, wisdom and vision that established the Union.”
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the 51st UAE National Day is a day to recall lessons of the past, and look at the present with awareness and contemplation, while looking to the future with hope, optimism and confidence.