SANTE-CORONAVIRUS-FRANCE: France is preparing for a large-scale “reconfinement”
PARIS (Reuters) – Pending Emmanuel Macron’s announcements in the face of the acceleration of the epidemic due to the coronavirus, France was preparing Wednesday for a further marked tightening of traffic restriction measures, which could go as far as to an almost general reconfinement of the country, with health, social and economic consequences that are difficult to assess.
The President of the Republic must present at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT) the new measures decided to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, at the end of a day during which he will have notably convened the Council of Ministers then a second health defense council in 24 hours.
Faced with the exponential increase in the number of cases of infection and the risk of saturation of resuscitation services in the short term, the government has for several days been preparing public opinion for “difficult decisions”.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, brought together all the political forces but the opposition came out disappointed with this meeting in the absence of details on the decisions to come.
Health authorities reported on Tuesday evening 523 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 in 24 hours, almost twice the figure announced the day before, and 33,417 new contaminations against 26,771 on Monday.
The number of people currently hospitalized in intensive care stands at 2,918, the highest since early May, before the lifting of the first confinement.
According to several media, the preferred hypothesis is that of a four-week national confinement which would spare only schools and colleges and only part of businesses.
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The prospect of a new halt to economic activity sent European financial markets plunging from the opening and by mid-morning, the CAC 40 index of the Paris Bourse lost 2.72%, at most. low since May 26, while the euro depreciated by more than 0.3%.
BERCY IS PREPARING MEASURES TO “SUPPORT” THE ECONOMY
“The main objective is public health and we are currently working on all the hypotheses. As far as I am concerned, with Bruno Le Maire, we are preparing the measures that will be necessary to support the economy depending on the nature of the decisions taken. “, declared Olivier Dussopt, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy in charge of public accounts, on Sud Radio.
“When the country stops functioning (…), it is a loss between two and 2.5 points of GDP per month of general confinement”, he said.
In medical circles, however, many specialists in infectious diseases and epidemics are calling for the strictest possible measures.
“We must take measures now, and not too late, if we waited another ten days, for example,” said Philippe Juvin, head of the emergency department at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris, on RTL.
“There has been a health crisis, an economic crisis, now there must not be a crisis of confidence that leads to disobedience as has been seen in other countries,” he added. .
The track of almost general reconfinement is however far from unanimous, including among the supporters of the Head of State.
“I am not speaking out for a general reconfinement”, thus said François Bayrou, the Plan commissioner, on France Inter. “My own feeling is that we cannot completely close the country in on itself.”
France is far from being the only large country to consider new measures to restrict social and economic life: in Germany, according to a project that Reuters was able to consult, Angela Merkel plans among other things to close all bars and restaurants , sports halls, cinemas or even theaters from November 4.