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7 Apr, 2020 07:53

Lockdown in France will last as long as ‘it needs to’ as peak of pandemic not yet reached – French health minister

Lockdown in France will last as long as ‘it needs to’ as peak of pandemic not yet reached – French health minister

France's health minister has said it is far too early to discuss easing the strict nationwide lockdown as the deadly Covid-19 pandemic still has not reached its peak in the country.

"We are not at the peak of the epidemic yet… We are still at the aggravation phase," Health Minister Olivier Veran said in an interview with BFM TV on Tuesday.

“It is too early to talk about ending the isolation,” Veran said.

The isolation [regime] will last as long as it needs to… It's up to each of us in our daily behavior to understand that by staying inside we are saving lives. We have to be patient. Our patience saves lives.

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France has introduced a 15-day lockdown on March 16. People were allowed to leave their homes only after filling out special forms explaining where they are heading and why. Over 100,000 police officers were deployed to enforce travel restrictions.

The quarantine measures were eventually extended to April 15, as the country’s death toll from Covid-19 continued to grow.

Covid-19 has killed 8,911 people in France, with 833 new deaths reported by health officials on Monday. Overall, more than 74,000 patients have tested positive for the virus.

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