Coronavirus lockdown in France: Deployment of 100,000 police, checkpoints set up

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France will deploy 100,000 police to enforce a lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak, the country's interior minister said on Monday, and fixed checkpoints will be set up across the country.

"Stay at home," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that fines of up to 135 euros would be handed out to those flouting the toughened restrictions.

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In a sombre address to the nation, Macron said that from Tuesday midday (1100 GMT) people should stay at home unless it was to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or for medical care.

France's Public Health Authority on Monday reported 21 new deaths from coronavirus taking the total to 148, an increase of around 16 percent.

It said on its website that the number of cases had risen to 6,633, up from 5,423 on Sunday, which is a rise of more than 20 percent in 24 hours.

Coronavirus infections and fatalities in France and Spain have been surging at a pace just days behind that of Italy, the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe where hospitals in the worst-hit northern regions are stretched to breaking point.

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