In the midst of the ongoing fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the French government has announced new measures to try to curb the growing number of confirmed cases in the country.
On Monday, the government ordered nightclubs closed for four weeks starting this weekend, extended the mandatory use of face masks in schools, urged businesses to encourage telecommuting and opened its vaccination program to children , reports the Xinhua News Agency.
Prime Minister Jean Castex declared at the end of a meeting of the Defense and National Security Council that his government intends to “conserve and even amplify, strengthen” the vaccine shield which currently protects the population.
He reiterated his call for people to get vaccinated, accept a booster and adhere to preventive measures.
In France, those over 65 can now benefit from a callback without an appointment.
According to the latest figures, 51 million French people are already fully vaccinated.
In schools across the country, the government has tightened health protocol as in less than 24 hours, the education ministry reported 6,261 new cases among children in the six to ten age group.
As a result, the wearing of face masks is once again compulsory inside and outside the school, and outdoor activities are also restricted.
Castex said vulnerable children will be able to receive their first dose of the vaccine from December 15 and that voluntary vaccination of all children should begin before the end of the year.
Also on Monday, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the coronavirus was circulating faster in France than during the peak of the third wave.
According to him, the fifth wave of the pandemic is progressing rapidly in France.
“More than 2,200 patients are currently in the intensive care units of our hospitals, seriously ill with Covid-19,” Veran said.
Meanwhile, more than 12,000 patients are currently hospitalized.
In the past 24 hours, 192 deaths from Covid have been recorded in the country, according to the Public Health Agency.
The fifth wave of the pandemic in France is still triggered by the Delta variant, but the government has said it will pay close attention to the evolution of the Omicron strain.
“It appears that this variant (Omicron) is much more contagious than the Delta variant, which itself is more contagious than the previous ones,” explained Veran.
However, he added that there is no clinical evidence that the Omicron variant is more dangerous than the Delta variant.
France has so far registered 25 cases of the Omicron variant.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)