President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered France into its third national lockdown after a third wave of COVID-19 cases.
He stated schools would close for three weeks as the country seeks to curb a third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.
Intensive care units in the hardest-hit regions at breaking point with death toll close to 100,000, Macron was forced to abandon his goal of keeping the country open to protect the economy.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has passed 5,000, exceeding the peak during a six-week-long lockdown last year.
The announcement means that movement restrictions already in place for more than a week in Paris, and some northern and southern regions, will now apply to the whole country for at least a month. Moreover, schools will close for three weeks after this weekend.
For school-children learning will be done remotely for a week, after which schools go on a two-week holiday.
The new lockdown threatens slowing the pace of France’s economic recovery from last year’s slump. It will force the temporary closure of 150,000 businesses at a cost of USD 12.89 billion per month, the finance ministry said.
France’s new lockdown identifies European Union’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
[Sourced: Al Jazeera]