France extends restrictions, eyes ‘new phase’

5 months ago tngadmin 0

 Politicians in Europe have expressed hope that the spread of coronavirus might be at or near its peak. However, the number of new COVID-19 cases in China has jumped to a six week high.

France has extended its coronavirus lockdown measures until May 11, saying the day marks the start of a new phase

According to The New York Times, President Emmanuel Macron on Monday extended France’s lockdown until May 11 but vowed that there would be enough masks and tests by then to start lifting some restrictions.

In his third solemn televised address since the epidemic began, Mr. Macron struck a delicate balance, as health authorities reported over 98,000 confirmed infections and nearly 15,000 deaths. He warned that the May 11 transition would only be possible if France continued to slow the epidemic, while promising that life would gradually return to normal.

“The epidemic is not yet under control,” Mr. Macron said. But, he added, “hope is reborn.”

He vowed that by May 11, the authorities would be ready to test and quarantine anyone with symptoms and that “general public” masks would be available for all.

Beginning on that date, daycare centers and schools will reopen, Mr. Macron said, but France’s most vulnerable citizens, mainly the elderly, will have to remain confined, “at least initially.” Many people will be allowed to return to work.

But many businesses, including restaurants, hotels, museums and theaters, will remain shuttered. And travel from non-European Union countries will remain banned “until further notice.”

Meanwhile, Spain is relaxing its restrictions. Some are returning to work, but non-essential businesses must remain closed, according to CNN.

Johns Hopkins University says a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than 1.85 million people and killed at least 114,000 worldwide as of April 13.

The United States is “nearing the peak right now,” a health official says, according to CNN.

Source: Asia Plus