France coronavirus panic: Macron warns nation faces new total lockdown amid SURGE in cases

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A staggering 7,379 people have been infected with the virus across the Channel, according to figures on Friday, marking the highest number of cases in five months. This figure comes days before millions of children are due to return to school.

Following the rise in cases, President Macron has admitted it would be dangerous to rule out another national lockdown.

He said on Friday: “We’re doing everything to avoid another lockdown, and in particular a nationwide lockdown.”

During a weekly review of the pandemic, the health ministry said France was seeing an “exponential progression of virus transmission”.

Authorities are desperately looking for ways to limit the spread of the disease without imposing another nationwide lockdown.

Much like other European countries, France imposed a strict lockdown in March but measures were eased in May after infections dropped.

However, this week, new measures, including mandatory face masks at all times outdoors, were introduced across Paris.

Despite the staggering number of new infections, there has not been a surge in hospitalisations or deaths.

France reported a further 20 deaths on Friday bringing the total to 30,596 with the number of people in hospital remaining unchanged at 4,535.

Authorities now believe the virus is spreading among young people who are less likely to show any severe symptoms.

After easing lockdown restrictions in May, the number of new confirmed cases rose to about 500 per day by the end of June.

The figure doubled to around 1,000 per day at the end of July and then increased to 2,000 by mid-August.

Last week, the French President said a vaccine against the deadly virus could be ready soon.

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“We have improved European cooperation on the vaccine together, by associating many other States and the Commission” in encouraging EU manufacturers to look for vaccines, he said during a joint press conference with Angela Merkel.

“And to ensure that we will have the capacity to produce them and deliver them to our populations when they are available.”

Countries around the world are currently scrambling to find a vaccine but so far, none have found a solution.

France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex has since announced masks are now mandatory in all theatres and cinemas.

He said: “Yes, I will say to the public, go to the cinema, go to the theatre. You are risking nothing.

“The cultural sector has really suffered in this crisis.

“That means that we are firstly thinking of culture as an economic activity, and that, if there is a French quality, it’s that to live with this virus will also mean being cultured with this virus.”

A second wave of the pandemic continues to spread across Europe, with Portugal being the latest country to report a rise in cases.

Spain is Europe’s worst-hit country with infections reaching 455,621.

On a global level, more than 25,000,000 people have been infected with the deadly pandemic.

The total figure of deaths has now surpassed 800,000.

The UK currently has the highest death toll across Europe after surpassing 40,000.

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