On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered that France will be on lockdown for the third time. This step has been taken to fight against a third wave of Covid infections that are overwhelming the country and its neighbors, Schools have also been told that they should shut down for three weeks.
Macron had tried to keep the economy open but the rising number of cases as well as the rise in death tolls and the intensive care units at close to full capacity ensured that the lockdown was inevitable. The death toll has come close to 100,000 people and the vaccine rollout has been much slower than what was envisaged; due to several factors.
Certain restrictions have been in place in Paris and a few hard hit Northern and Southern regions from over a week. From Saturday, the entire country will face lockdown for more than four weeks.
The 43-year old former investment banker believed that he could avoid a third lockdown earlier this year but new contagious strains spread far and wide throughout the continent putting all those plans in jeopardy.
Macron had said that he would safeguard education but the coronavirus has taken over once again and schools have been shut for three weeks, post weekend. School children in France will learn remotely for a week. After the week, all schools will be shut for two weeks. After the vacation is over, nursery and primary students will return to school. Students of middle school and high school will continue with virtual learning for one more week.
In France, the daily new infection rate is twice as much, since February. The number of infections has almost reached 40,000 and patients with COVID-19 who are in intensive care has crossed the 5,000 mark. This is more than the peak of ICU cases that were seen last year, when France had a six-week lockdown.
Macron has also mentions that the vaccine rollout has to be expedited to arrest the speed at which the coronavirus is moving across the country. Currently about 12 percent of France’s popular has been vaccinated. An increased vaccination drive and a third lockdown would hopefully contain the spread of COVID-19 and reviving the lagging economy is a future goal. Containing the spread of the virus is the current goal.