Macron warns of possible lockdown amid ‘exponential’ rise in Covid-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron waits for Tunisia's President Kais Saied before a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned that another nationwide lockdown may be put in place in light of what the country’s health ministry described as an ‘exponential’ rise in Covid-19 cases.

The country reported 7,379 new cases on Friday, the largest number of daily cases since 31 March. 5,429 cases had been reported on Wednesday and 6,111 on Thursday; the total number of cases reported in France has reached 267,077.

Since young people, who are less vulnerable to the disease, make up most of the new infections, hospital numbers and death rates have remained relatively stable. The country reported 20 deaths on Friday, bringing its overall death toll up to 30,596.

Macron said that the government was hoping to avoid the return of a lockdown, given its economic impact, but warned that it could not be ruled out. He urged the public to be very rigorous to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The government did empower local authorities to enforce lockdown measures where significant numbers of cases were being reported, and the wearing of masks outdoors has been made mandatory in Paris.