French cabinet to consider local lockdowns, spokesman says

A health worker, wearing a protective suit and a face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient at a testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) installed at the Bassin de la Villette in Paris, France

The French government will discuss the possibility of local lockdowns to tackle rising COVID-19 infections at a cabinet meeting, its spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Thursday.

French health authorities reported 8,577 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the second-highest number of daily additional infections since the disease started to spread in the country at the end of the winter.

“We do not exclude anything,” Attal told BFM television, ahead of the cabinet meeting on Friday.

The situation was being watched closely in about 20 large cities, including Marseille, Bordeaux and the Paris region, Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the epidemic, told RTL radio.

“We must do everything we can to avoid local lockdowns …In these (risk) regions we could look into further restrictions of big gatherings of crowds,” Delfraissy said.

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