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French authorities are introducing stricter corona measures and closing the country’s schools and kindergartens after a new wave of infections.
Schools and kindergartens will now be closed for three weeks, including two weeks holiday. Homeschooling starts next week.
“44 percent of those currently admitted to the intensive care units are under 65,” French President Emmanuel Macron said tonight.
France now has almost 40,000 new cases of infection daily, a doubling from February, and more than 5,000 corona patients are now in the intensive care unit.
Macron has been criticized by the opposition and medical experts for not having introduced national measures before.
In particular, the closure of schools has been seen as a very last resort by the authorities.
Macron admitted that the current measures to prevent the spread of infection have not been good enough, given the development. He cited the British virus variant as one of the reasons.
– To continue to protect lives now, everyone must go the extra mile in the coming months. That is what I am asking you for tonight, Macron said in the opening speech.
Strong pressure on hospitals
The speech comes at a time when the corona situation in France has deteriorated. The pressure on the hospitals has increased and at least 5,072 patients are now admitted to the intensive care units, according to France 24.
Nearly nine out of ten intensive care beds have been used.
“France will soon pass 100,000 corona dead,” Macron said.
The situation in the hospitals has increased the pressure on Macron, who has not previously listened to advice from public health experts to introduce stricter measures.
The reactions have been strong after senior executives at a hospital in Paris went out and warned that they would soon have to start denying patients access due to. lack of space.
A government spokesman was quick to point out that the country would never refuse to accept sick patients.
– A key factor in our decision-making process is the situation in the hospitals, Gabriel Attal said in a cabinet meeting just before tonight’s press conference from Macron.
Focus on vaccination
In addition to new restrictions, Macron is now clear that they are investing everything in a good vaccination plan.
– From 16 April, everyone over the age of 60 will be offered a vaccine. So on May 15, it is those over 50 who are offered the vaccine, says Macron.
He added that all French people over the age of 18 who want to be vaccinated should have been given the opportunity to do so before the summer is over.
“This is the key to getting back to life, the key to reopening the country,” the president said.
Despite Easter, a debate is planned in parliament on Thursday about the corona situation and the new measures.
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