On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a third national lockdown for 4 weeks as country stuggles to control corona virus infection. Starting on Saturday, there will be nightly curfew, travel ban, closure of schools.
So far, his strategy of relying on targeted restrictions has failed to tame the pandemic.
Some french doctors claimed, the president's refusal to impose strict measures during the winter missed an opportunity to bring the pandemic under control.
In a televised speech to the nation Macron said, "The rules in force in 19 departments under reinforced surveillance will be extended to the whole of France, starting from Saturday evening and for a period of four weeks,"
Macron said the vaccine campaign needed to be accelerated. Mired early on in red tape and slowed by supply shortages, it is only now finding its stride three months in, with just 12% of the population inoculated.
According to the latest figures, nearly 60,000 Daily new infections have trippled since early February. On Wednesday, France Health Ministry reported 59,038 new coronavirus cases.
So far the country has reported more than 4.6 million cases of coronavirus and 95,495 Covid-related deaths.
A government source said, Parliament will vote on Thursday on the measures announced by the President. "That tells you steps will be taken on a national level."
Macron said, "Since the beginning of March, France has entered a race against time. We will lose control if we do not move now," and further added, "44 percent of (coronavirus) patients in intensive care are now under 65 years old."