Macron chairs a meeting with the medical staff of the Rene Dubos hospital center, in Pontoise. File photo/Reuters
France will have to live with the coronavirus at least until next summer, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.
Macron, who was speaking during a visit to a hospital in Pointoise, near Paris, said there were no plans at this stage to reduce curfews aimed at preventing the virus spreading but that curfews could even be extended.
“When I listen to scientists I see that projections are for at best until next Summer,” he said, adding it was too early to say if France was headed towards new full or partial lockdowns.
The coronavirus is spreading through France faster than at the peak of the first wave in spring, a government scientific advisor said earlier on Friday.
France reported 41,622 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a new daily record, and will break through the 1,000,000 cumulative tally on Friday - a grim milestone for the government as it and other European capitals battle to keep their economies open.
France has announced plans to extend a curfew to 38 more administrative departments from midnight on Friday. In all, two thirds of the country’s 67 million population will be confined indoors each night from 9pm to 6am until early December.
Macron was to hold a meeting with his prime minister, top military adviser, intelligence coordinator and ministers of health, the interior and foreign affairs on the health crisis before giving a televised address at 8:00pm (1900 GMT).
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday a new coronavirus lockdown until at least Dec.1, hoping to bring under control an outbreak that is poised to overwhelm hospitals in a matter of days.
Thousands of citizens scrambled to book coronavirus shots after President Macron's warning that a ‘health pass’ would be needed to go to inns and restaurants from August as France reported 1,260 new coronavirus cases on Monday.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Wednesday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
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