Head of French health regulatory body says COVID situation is worrisome
PARIS (FRANCE) – The head of the country’s Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) health regulator told France Inter radio on Monday that the COVID-19 situation in France is worrying, as President Emmanuel Macron’s government is mulling over a new lockdown.
France has the world’s seventh-highest COVID-19 death toll, and has so far witnessed more than 73,000 deaths.
“It is a worrying moment. We are looking at the figures, day by day. We need to take measures pretty quickly….but at the same time, not too hastily,” said HAS head Dominique Le Guludec.
Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on COVID-19, had said on Sunday that France probably needed a third national lockdown, perhaps early as the February school holidays, because of the new variants of the virus spreading.
French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune, when asked about this on French radio on Monday, replied that no clear decision had been taken yet on the matter.
France is currently following a nationwide 6pm to 6am curfew, but the average number of new infections has gone up from 18,000 per day to more than 20,000.
Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, head of the MEDEF French business lobby group, said he would urge the government to keep as many businesses and schools open as possible in any new lockdown, so as to safeguard the economy and help children’s education.