Paris (AP) – French President Emanuel Macron is expected to impose new restrictions on the virus in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening amid growing pressure to take bolder action to fight coronavirus hospitalizations.
According to a government official, who did not want to be named, the closure of all French schools and a ban on travel within the country were among his options.
Any such national move would be a departure from the government’s policy of recent months, which focuses on regional constraints. School closures in particular have been seen as a last resort.
A debate is scheduled in the parliament on Thursday, which will touch upon the situation of the virus and new measures.
“The situation in hospitals remains a key factor in our decision-making,” government spokesman Gabriel Atal said on Wednesday after Macron hosted a government coronavirus strategy meeting.
After the officials of the Paris hospital warned that they would have to start rejecting the insecure patients due to the lack of space, he said. “One thing is clear. France will not refuse to care for any sick person. “Choosing patients is not an option.”
Atal said that “decisions were made” at the meeting of the virus, but he did not publish them until the president’s speech. Whichever way is chosen, he warned that “difficult weeks are ahead of us.”
The previous nationwide blockade was announced by Macron in a televised speech in March-October 2020. On Wednesday, his office announced that Macron would address the crowd at 8 p.m.
The total number of COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit in France rose to more than 5,000 on Tuesday, the first time in 11 months.
After an overnight shift at an ICU in the northern French city of Amiens, Dr. Pauline Keylard described the growing number of patients and the growing burden on medical staff.
“It moves very fast,” he said. “I hope we do not need to make a choice” among patients.
Without complete blockade, Macron is consuming alternatives to wreak havoc on a new wave of infections, leading to growing questions about his government’s viral strategy. In the 2022 presidential election, Macron will have to consider both political and health considerations.
Republican curfew has been in place overnight since January, and all French restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas and museums have been closed since October. In Paris և other regions where the virus is spreading rapidly, residents already have additional restrictions on movement և insignificant shops are closed.
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