France envisages gradual lockdown exit: Official

Paris, Nov 23 : Amid improved pandemic data after a second lockdown was imposed in France, the country, one of the worst-hit in Europe, has envisaged a three-stage process to return to normalcy to avoid the coronavirus resurgence, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced.

Speaking to the weekly newspaper Le Journal Du Dimanche (JDD), Attal on Sunday said easing restriction “will be carried out in three steps following the health situation and related risks of some activities: a first stage around December 1, then before the year-end holidays, and from January 2021”, reports Xinhua news agency.

“What is at stake is adapting lockdown rules as the health situation improves while avoiding a new flare-up in the epidemic,” said Attal.

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He added that shop owners would be able to reopen early December, while restriction on catering businesses and people’s movement would be maintained.

Since September, coronavirus figures in France have spiraled to levels much higher than in the first wave of the pandemic, which prompted authorities to impose the second national lockdown on October 30.

The additional anti-coronavirus rules are effective until next month.

After a record of some 69,500 single-day new cases registered on November 2, the incidence rate has been declining in last weeks.

The country’s overall Covid-19 caseload has increased to 2,127,051, after 17,881 more people were reported to be infected on Sunday, fewer than 22,882 recorded a day before.

The cumulative number of deaths was at 48,518, up by 276.

On a positive note, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients fell by 709 to 31,197, a decline for the fifth consecutive day.

Some 4,509 patients remained in intensive care units, down by 73 in one day.

On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron will make a televised address to the nation during which he will unveil the next steps the country will take in its fight against the health crisis.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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