France’s Macron to address country on COVID-19 situation

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French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening, his office said, as a fast-spreading third wave of COVID-19 infections threatens to over-run hospitals.

The Elysee Palace did not say whether Macron would announce further restrictions to counter the virus as the country’s death toll nears 100,000.

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The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care increased by 98 on Tuesday to breach the 5,000 threshold, the highest number this year.

Public health experts say the burden on intensive care is evidence that the current set of restrictions do not go far enough.

France has been under a nightly curfew since mid-December and in parts of the country, including Paris, the movement of citizens has been restricted and some non-essential stores closed. Bars, restaurants and cinemas have been closed for months.

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Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told BFM TV that schools should be closed.

Macron will convene his COVID defense council for a weekly meeting later in the morning.

Read more:

Paris hospitals face tough choices under COVID-19 pressure: Officials

Macron says France’s vaccination figures will catch up with UK’s ‘in a few weeks’

President Macron defends no-lockdown policy as infections in France surge

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