France reports 47,637 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours amid nationwide lockdown

BRUSSELS, July 1, 2019 (Xinhua) — French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for the special summit of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, on June 30, 2019. Leaders of the European Union’s 28 member states started gathering on Sunday afternoon to decide on top positions for the bloc. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng/IANS)

Paris, Oct 30 (IANS) France registered 47,637 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing the accumulative total to 1,327,852, as a national lockdown to stem the brutal second wave of the pandemic came into effect nationwide, according to official figures.

The country’s death toll has increased to 36,058, while a total of 21,183 infected patients were currently hospitalized, including 3,156 in intensive care, reports Xinhua news agency.

Starting from Thursday midnight, the country’s 67 million inhabitants will be under the new lockdown until at least early December.

People will be allowed to go out for work if they cannot do their job at home, to buy essential goods, or for health emergency and an hour of exercise daily.

University students are called to switch to online learning.

Non-essential shops including bars, cafes, gyms and restaurants will down their shutters.

Private meetings and public gatherings have been banned and cultural ceremonies and conferences are suspended.

But unlike the March-May confinement, visits to elderly nursing homes are allowed.

Nurseries, primary and middle schools as well as public institutions will remain open with reinforced health protocol.

School children aged six and over must wear masks in class.

Previously mask-wearing was compulsory for kids over 10 years.

In addition, factories will keep operating, while construction and farming activities are maintained.

President Emmanuel Macron said the country risked being “overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first”.

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