Coronavirus (COVID-19) World

Fri 09 October 2020:

 “The health situation continues to deteriorate in France,” Veran said at the top of his speech. 

PARIS – COVID-19 infections continued to climb Thursday in France with 18,129 new cases and 77 additional fatalities registered, according to the Health Ministry.   

The total number cases rose to 671,638 with the death toll reaching 32,521. A total of 4,710 people were recorded in the hospital with 891 of those in intensive care. 

Health Minister Olivier Veran and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire gave a televised address to the nation Thursday evening to discuss the latest measures and circumstances. 

“The health situation continues to deteriorate in France,” Veran said at the top of his speech. 

With the spread of the virus, Veran placed four more cities on maximum alert: Lille, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne and Lyon. 

Dijon and Clermont-Ferrand have been placed in the heightened alert zone, the next-highest alert level where the virus is circulating widely. The measures for all of these cities will come into effect Saturday. 

Two other major cities of concern are Montpellier and Toulouse, which authorities will watch closely over the next few days. Currently, 40% of ICU beds in the Ile-de-France region are occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to French health authorities.

The situation is concerning for Philippe Juvin, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Georges-Pompidou Hospital in Paris, who spoke on the shortage in a morning television appearance Thursday.

“If we keep going in France at the capacity we are, we will reach maximum capacity,” he stated.  

Living with the virus

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced that a “solidarity fund” to protect jobs and businesses will be expanded to include some 75,000 companies suffering the secondary effects of limitations on tourism, culture and sporting activities—such as car rental companies, florists and travel insurance.

“We have to learn to live with the virus. It is here. It will not disappear overnight,” Le Maire said.

“We need to protect ourselves… but we also have to continue working, producing, protecting our jobs, preparing the economy of the France of tomorrow,” he said.

On Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron said the country was “not in a normal situation, and we won’t be for several months”.

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