Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

France: COVID-19 cases skyrocket as curfew takes hold

30,000 infections top previous day’s tally

Cindi Cook   | 18.10.2020
France: COVID-19 cases skyrocket as curfew takes hold


PARIS - As Paris and other cities and regions enter the first night of a curfew Saturday, new cases of coronavirus infections hit a new daily record.

There were 90 new fatalities with France's death toll now standing at 33,392. A total of 7,198 patients remain hospitalized with 1,269 in the ICU, but the latter figure is trending downward.

France is in an official state of emergency with curfews applying to Paris, Ile-de-France, Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.

The curfews, which took effect at 9 p.m. (1900GMT) and is lifted at 6 a.m. (0500GMT) each morning, will last four weeks. Exceptions will apply to medical establishments, hotels, home delivery companies and public establishments, including police and fire stations.

A force of 12,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilized to enforce the curfew, according to Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin.

If residents need to leave their houses during the curfew, a certificate of attestation can again be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior website to state the reason and it must be presented with proper identification and proof of employment if stopped by authorities.

Violators will face a €135 euro ($158) fine; repeat offenses could garner a fine as high as €3,750 ($4,395) or six months in prison, depending on the offense.

The curfew is meant to curb the spread of the virus, with infections and fatalities spiking in recent weeks -- especially during the last week.

Most worrisome is the effect it has on medical facilities. Hospitals have limited capacity and beds before they reach saturation and have to turn patients away.

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