France recently broke its own record for yielding the highest daily rise in COVID-19 cases across Europe; prompting the government to impose new restrictions. Based on the most recent statistics reported by the country’s Public Health Agency, in a single day, as many as 16,096 people tested positive for the virus.
Actually, since the beginning of September, France has been seeing an increased number of areas categorized as “zones rouges” or red zones. In such cases, the local officials have the authority to intensify measures in combating COVID-19. As of last month, the country’s latest count totaled 55 Covid “red zones” in all, which include the city of Marseilles and the Island of Guadeloupe. Currently, the cities of Paris, Lyon, Toulouse and Lille are already on a red alert stage.
President Macron Announces New Restrictions
In light of the worsening health crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron announced last October 5, the closing down of bars and restaurants in Marseille, Guadeloupe Island and all other areas classified as red zones. While bars and restaurants in areas under a red alert status like Lyon, Paris, Toulouse, and Lille, have been ordered to close shop at 10 p.m. as well as to maintain a limit of 10 people for every private and public gathering.
Moreover, wearing of masks are now mandatory for anyone aged 11 or above when entering enclosed public areas such as restaurants, hotels, shops, museums and the like. In parts of France categorized as red zones, wearing of masks in public streets are compulsory, particularly, including when riding in public transports. The country also prohibits the wearing of reusable masks when traveling by way of airplanes.
As school season has recently begun, French students have returned to their universities. However, this resulted to an additional 12 clusters of coronavirus carriers in the month of September. To prevent these clusters from growing expp\onentially, the government ordered the closure of 22 schools in both mainland and overseas French territories.
Many in France Still Do Not Comprehend the Impact of New COVID-19 Cases
Many have voiced opposition to the new restrictions and actions, mostly coming from local politicians and business owners. Hundreds are protesting in the southern part of Marseilles, claiming that the new restrictions can affect their livelihoods. That if worse comes to worst, they will be forced to shut down permanently.
Apparently, many in France still do not fully comprehend the seriousness of the COVID-19 contagion and of its capability to infect people in exponential numbers. To cite the U.S. as an example, as it is ranked at the top of the statistical list, the country is now in its second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
As of October 07, 2020, there are more than 7.54 million active cases in the U.S., while as many as 211,000 people have died from the disease. The figures are still expected to rise as the number of new cases reported daily, averages at 55,000.