French Health Minister Olivier Véran has declared that if the “worrying” COVID situation in Paris does not improve over the weekend, much tougher measures will have to be announced on Monday.
Véran told a press conference that Paris and its closest suburbs, comprising nearly seven million people, have already breached the maximum alert thresholds. “We need a few days to confirm the trends, but if they are confirmed, we’ll have no choice but to put it on maximum alert, from Monday,” he declared, suggesting that could mean “a total closure of bars.”
According to the health authorities, the number of cases per 100,000 residents in Paris has risen to 259.6, above the alert threshold of 250. The minister also explained that in Paris and the surrounding area, three out of every ten patients now in hospital emergency recovery wards are under the age of 65 – a figure which is once again above the critical level of 30 per cent.
Véran went on to say that he would consult with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tomorrow, Sunday, to decide on any new regulations and that their effectiveness would be reviewed after 2 weeks. Earlier today, Prime Minister Jean Castex met mayors and key representatives from many of France’s major towns and cities and Véran said the government was now particularly concerned about the situation in Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint Etienne.
There is also much concern about the situation in the Hauts-de-France region, in the north of the country. Véran signalled that these areas could also be subject to tougher rules next week if the current measures fail to stop the situation deteriorating.
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