France Posts Record New Virus Cases as Minister Warns of ‘Violent’ Second Wave
France posted a record number of new virus cases, 58,046, as the nation’s health minister warned of a “violent” second wave of the illness sweeping the country.
France is also facing a surge in intensive care patients, Health Minister Olivier Veran said at a briefing on Thursday. Virus patients now account for more than 85% of French hospitals’ initial intensive-care capacity. Another 363 people died from the virus, bringing the total to 39,037, French public health agency figures showed.
Europe is battling a new surge in the virus, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Prime Minister Jean Castex discussing the epidemic in a video conference on Thursday. France started a second lockdown last week, with limits on movement and closures of some stores. Paris is also shutting down all food-delivery and takeout services between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as banning alcohol sales and public drinking.
“If we do not sufficiently respect the lockdown, we will experience a wave that is stronger than the first, longer,” Veran said at the briefing. “The second wave is here and it’s violent.”
The French economy will shrink 11% in 2020, based on the lockdown ending on Dec. 1 and a gradual recovery in activity afterwards, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday.
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