Coronavirus lockdown in France to remain in effect until December: Prime Minister

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Moscow [Russia], November 13 (ANI/Sputnik): French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the nationwide stay-at-home regime will remain in effect amid still disturbing indicators of the COVID-19 virus' evolution in the country.

"Together with the President of the Republic [Emmanuel Macron], we decided this morning in the Council of defense and national security to keep unchanged, at least for the next fifteen days, the rules of lockdown intended to fight against # COVID19," Castex tweeted late on Thursday.

The prime minister said that the impact from the second coronavirus outbreak is tough, specifying in a separate tweet that up to 500 COVID-19 patients have died each day over the past week, which makes each one in four of the deaths in France due to the pandemic. Moreover, he added, current numbers of coronavirus hospitalizations have surpassed the April peak, with one hospitalization confirmed each half a minute and intensive care cases linked to the epidemic occurring every three minutes.

Castex noted that over the past week, the infection rate has decreased by 16 per cent, marking "the first expected effects" of the state counter-virus strategy. However, he urged the nation to remain cautious until the "positive" trend of the slowing pandemic "is confirmed over time".

The government has imposed the general lockdown on October 30 in the wake of a sharp resurgence in COVID-19 cases over the month. While the record daily high since the beginning of the pandemic has been reached on November 7, counting nearly 87,000 cases, new restrictions forced closures of non-essential businesses, stores, and public places.

As of Friday, France has confirmed 1,915,282 coronavirus cases and 42,599 related fatalities. (ANI/Sputnik)