France under pressure for lockdown with advancing Covid-19 variants – Prime Time Zone


The regional administration ordered stricter rules for wearing a mask and asked people in Dunkirk and some other areas not to leave the city to limit the spread

EFE / EPA / JULIEN DE ROSAFrance is one of the countries most affected by Covid-19

New variants of new coronavirus are spreading rapidly in various regions of the France, causing local authorities to enforce stricter masking rules and a curfew around the English Channel coast, raising a growing demand for a new lockdown in the east of the country. Although France has closed its borders with the UK in December, the virus variant first identified in Kent, England, is now responsible for the majority of recent cases of virus contamination around the French port city of Dunkirk, according to a statement from the regional health agency released today. Saturday the 13th.

The regional administration has ordered stricter rules for wearing a mask and has asked people in Dunkirk and some other areas not to leave the city to limit the spread. Saturated hospitals in the city are sending covid-19 patients to other regions amid an increase in the number of people in need of intensive care. The French national public health agency warned last Thursday, 11, that the spread of the variants could worsen the situation of the virus in the country in the coming weeks, after a prolonged period of stability in the number of infections and hospitalizations since the last “ lockdown ”was suspended in December 2020.

The dominant variant in the UK was detected in almost a quarter of all cases in northern France and in 20% of cases in the Paris region at the end of January, according to the agency’s most recent data. Figures released on Friday (12) by France’s largest network of private medical laboratories, Biogroup, suggest that the variant has spread rapidly since then: the group says the variant appeared in about half of its 1-7 tests. February in the western region of Paris. The Biogroup also identified a jump in the number of cases of the variant first identified in South Africa in three regions of eastern France. In the Moselle region, the variant was found in almost a third of the positive tests during the first week of February.

Health Minister Olivier Veran came to the region on Friday and promised to step up testing and vaccinations, but the government has resisted calls from some doctors and local leaders for a new blockade. In all, France confirmed more than 3.4 million cases of coronavirus and more than 80,000 deaths related to the virus. Frustration has grown with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

* With information from Estadão Content and international agencies