Post by Admin on Oct 29, 2020 11:15:51 GMT
France, Germany Lockdowns Over COVID Are Renewed
Newsmax | 28 Oct 2020
France will go back into a nationwide lockdown starting this week to try to contain the COVID-19 epidemic that is again threatening to spiral out of control, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an address to the nation on Wednesday.
The new measures echo the eight-week lockdown that France enforced in the spring, when hospitalisations and deaths caused by the COVID-19 epidemic reached a peak.
But unlike the previous lockdown, most schools are to remain open, Macron said.
France on Tuesday reported 523 new deaths from coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April, when the virus was at its most severe. Doctors have warned that intensive care units risk becoming overwhelmed.
France's death toll, at over 35,000, is the seventh highest in the world, according to Reuters data.
France's action comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel is imposing the toughest restrictions on Germany since a national lockdown in the spring, closing bars and restaurants in Europe’s largest economy to regain control of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
The one-month partial shutdown, which will go into effect on Monday, is designed to keep most businesses operating, Merkel said Wednesday after tense talks with the leaders of the country’s 16 states. Officials will gather again in two weeks to assess the impact of the measures.
“Today is a difficult day, for policy makers as well,” Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin as she called for a concerted national effort to fight the pandemic. “We know what we’re demanding of the people.”
With the public weary of pandemic measures and protests increasing, the government sought to ease pressure by making available up to 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in aid for companies affected by the measures, including reimbursing as much as 75% of lost sales in November.