PARIS (AP) – France’s president says he has no regrets about refusing to impose a third national lockdown earlier this year, despite the fact that the country’s hospitals are being infected with the acute coronavirus and more than a thousand people die every week.
President Emanuel Macron’s government has stressed the importance of keeping children full in school and business as the epidemic drags on for the second year. The families of the French COVID-19 victims say, however, that Macron turns a blind eye to their suffering.
“It was not appropriate for us to implement a lockdown in France at the end of January because we do not have the eruption of the case predicted for each model,” Macron told the European Union summit late Thursday evening. “I do not think so. I have no regrets and I will not accept failure. ”
For months, France has won a “third way” between captivity and freedom across curfews and closed restaurants, museums, cinemas, gyms, many shopping malls and some other businesses across the country. The measures kept France’s infection rate stable for a while, but this month it is rising again significantly.
France has the fourth highest number of confirmed virus cases, with 7878 lives being the deadliest epidemic. Intensive care units are again in capacity in Paris and some other regions or beyond, due to a flood of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Many medical workers have been urging the French government for weeks to impose stronger sanctions in response to a more contagious virus previously identified in Britain, which is now dominated by the virus in France.
“The zero-virus situation does not exist, and it is true for every country in Europe. We are not an island, and the islands that protected themselves have seen the virus return, “Macron said. “But we thought we could cope with the curfew and the steps we had.”
Relatives of the deceased COVID-19 reached out on social media to express their anger over Macron’s remarks.
“I started listening to them, and it irritated me and I had to change the channel,” said Lionel Petitps, whose wife, Joelle, died last year.
“She is OK. Macron, Prime Minister, they always think they are making the right decision. As a citizen, I say no, because we are finding ourselves in the same situation as a year ago, “Petitaps, who started an organization to allow families to mourn the victims of the virus, told the Associated Press.
He challenged people who lost jobs and livelihoods due to the epidemic. But he asked, “What does the economy mean if there’s not enough left to run healthy?”
While the government is committed to avoiding new nationwide lockdowns, Moron said, tough measures could be announced in the coming days. Last week, the government closed non-essential stores and banned travel for residents of Paris and many other regions, but some doctors fear it is not enough to cause a new outbreak.
“We are at 100% business rate for about a month. “We have extended our capacity to the maximum,” Dr Mohammed al-Hadi Dajerad of Pierre Beregovoy de Nevers Hospital in Burgundy told local broadcaster France-3. “We are in a state of emergency.”
Infections in the Burgundy region doubled every two weeks.