Corona Virus Pandemic Worsens, France Lockdown Paris
“Since yesterday, in the last 24 hours, Paris has crossed the threshold that will put it in the category of maximum alert,” said French Health Minister Olivier Veran as quoted from CNN, Saturday (3/10/2020).
France’s threshold for “maximum alertness” is reached when the incidence rate reaches 250 per 100,000 people, at least 30% of intensive care beds are occupied by Coronavirus patients, and the infection rate among the elderly passes 100 per 100,000.
The Paris region has met the last two criteria.
“If that ‘evolution’ is confirmed in the coming days, we will have no choice but to put Paris and its nearby suburbs on maximum alert as soon as Monday,” said Veran at the city’s Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital.
“We will re-examine the indicators on Sunday, with the mayor of Paris and the elected officials,” he added.
The head of the Paris region health authority, Aurelien Rousseau, told radio station France Inter on Wednesday that 34% of intensive care beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients in the region and the incidence rate for people over 65 is over 100 per 100,000 population.
He said the figure was also very high for people between the ages of 20 and 30, with 450 cases per 100,000 people.
Many business owners in Paris fear the long-term repercussions of the closings, and have protested the existing restrictions.
To note, Paris is already on increased alert, with meetings limited to 10 people and a curfew for bars starting 10pm from Monday. The Paris police department said last week that businesses could close if they fail to comply with regulations.
Pedestrians are required to use masks and scooters in the area, and must be worn in all closed public spaces, including school students over 11 years of age.
Meanwhile another French city, Marseille, and the French foreign ministry in Guadeloupe are already on “maximum alert”, meaning bars and restaurants have been forced to close. According to the French health ministry, this level of precaution also means the closure of all buildings such as cinemas and museums, unless they have strict and enforced health protocols, and the optional closure of coastal and lake areas. The only alert level higher is “Health Emergencies”.
Cases in France rose by 13,970 on Thursday, bringing the total to 577,505 with 32,019 deaths. The number of cases hit a record daily increase of 16,096 on September 24.
The news came after the Spanish government announced that Madrid would be re-isolated, with people unable to leave or enter the area.
Countries across Europe are reinstating new local lockdowns and restrictions to combat a second wave of infections sweeping the continent, with households in northern Britain barred from mixing indoors and the Dutch government making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces .