France imposes third lockdown amid rising Covid-19 cases, schools closed | Business Standard News

Clipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/france-imposes-third-lockdown-amid-rising-covid-19-cases-schools-closed-121040200045_1.html

The French leader implored the nation to make an extra effort as the lockdown comes into force on Saturday

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide four-week lockdown, closing schools and business, in the latest and alarming sign that Europe is yet again losing control of the pandemic.

“We did everything we could to make these decisions as late as possible, when they became strictly necessary. That is now,” Macron said. New variants make the virus “more contagious and deadlier.”

The French leader implored the nation to make an extra effort as the lockdown comes into force on Saturday. Restrictions will be flexible this weekend, during the Easter holidays, to allow people to relocate within regions. Seventy-one percent of French said they approved of the decision to extend restrictions, according to a snap Harris International poll.

Still, it represents a policy reversal for Macron. He had favored a localised approach, which the UK had also tried with little success, and his rejection of advice for stricter measures sooner comes with political risks a year out from presidential elections. Macron acknowledged mistakes in handling the pandemic, but said the nation was learning from them.

Last week, he had made a point of saying he’d give “no mea culpa.” Either way, a lockdown comes at an economic cost, with 150,000 stores shut. The finance ministry said the cost of measures, including furloughs and tax relief, would rise to 11 billion euros ($13 billion) a month from 7.2 billion euros.

The situation in France has been worsening since December, with new Covid cases rising to 69,590 per million, nearly twice the number in Germany, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There are 1,417 deaths per million since the start of the pandemic, putting France just shy of the 1,529 seen in Brazil.

Pfizer shot 91% effective in updated data

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s Covid vaccine is around 91% effective at preventing the disease, they said on Thursday, citing updated trial data that included participants inoculated for up to six months.

J&J vaccine delivery delayed

A manufacturing error at a plant involved in Covid-19 vaccine production affected 15 million doses worth of an ingredient for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, according to two people familiar with the matter.

European vax rollout is slow, says WHO

Europe’s rollout of vaccinations is “unacceptably slow,” the World Health Organization’s European head, raising concern that delays could prolong the pandemic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s