Monday, 27 Sep 2021

Christmas should be cancelled in France to stop third Covid wave despite national lockdown, warns hospital chief

CHRISTMAS in France should be CANCELLED this year over fears it could lead to a deadly third wave of Covid, a medical chief has warned.

This comes as the country has the world's fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases with 48,720 new infections reported on average each day.

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Paris hospital director Julien Lenglet told RMC Radio that Christmas and New Year's Eve parties – known in France as 'Saint-Sylvestre' – could cause cases to surge further.

He said the celebrations could end up as a "giant, intergenerational cluster that could be at the origins of a potential new third wave" of Covid-19.

Lenglet, who works at the Antony Hospital in the Paris region, said: “I would say, without any hesitation, that we ought to cancel Christmas and Saint-Sylvestre.”

France entered a second national lockdown to curb the spread of the virus at the end of October,.

And much like the UK, some politicians and health experts are hoping the shutdown will curb the outbreak allowing the country to reopen in time for Christmas.

Last week, Boris Johnson promised a four-week lockdown IS enough to tackle the coronavirus and will allow families to come together over the festive period.

But the Prime Minister warned everyone must work together to put Covid “back in its box” if they want “as normal a Christmas as possible”.

Yet, the UK remain a few weeks behind France in terms of second wave infections and the warning from the French health chief is a stark one.

In its second lockdown, President Macron's government has implemented stricter measures which have been in place since October 30 and will remain in place for five weeks.

Restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses have been forced to close and people are banned from travelling between regions.

Residents can only leave home for essential work, exercise, to go food shopping or for medical reasons, but schools and workplaces will remain open.

Movement is restricted to one kilometre from people's homes.

People must use official passes to leave their homes, as they had to when March's lockdown was imposed.

Cops have intensified checks and officers have been pictured stopping cars, asking drivers to show valid permits given the ban on non-essential travel.

The restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks and are due to end on December 1.

With more than 1.8 million confirmed cases since the outbreak of the disease, only the United States, India and Brazil have higher number of infections than France.

The country suffered 86,852 cases on November 7 – a record high for the third consecutive day.

And French authorities have reported over 40,000 deaths, with nearly 30,000 people currently being treated in hospital, Sky News reports.

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