Europe

France enters stage 3 in battle against coronavirus

Highest level of alert; closure of all places not essential to the public life announced

Cindi Cook   | 15.03.2020
France enters stage 3 in battle against coronavirus

PARIS

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Director General of Health Jerome Salomon, announced new precautions to keep the coronavirus from spreading.

Salomon said France would be moving to Stage 3 of emergency preparedness to battle the virus known as COVID-19.

"We must now do everything to delay, to slow down, to clip this epidemic curve," he said.
Philippe said as of midnight Saturday, all "places receiving the public" that are "not essential to the life of the country" will be shuttered until further notice. Restaurants, and cafes -- staples of French culture -- will need to close, along with cinemas and nightclubs.

"It is urgent, it is now that we must change our behavior," he said.

The latest statistics from the World Health Organization show 4,499 reported cases and 91 deaths in France. Thirteen deaths occurred in the last 24 hours.
Worldwide, there are 142,649 cases and 5,393 deaths in 135 countries.

Public transport will operate throughout France, but the Philippe asked that it be used in a limited capacity – for work and only if there is a need to be there in person.
Philippe feels the public must take curbing the disease more seriously in its day-to-day conduct, urging the nation to "avoid gathering as much as possible, limit friendly and family gatherings" and to leave home only to shop for essentials or to exercise.

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