France 'could lose control of coronavirus at any moment'

France ‘could lose control of coronavirus at any moment’ as fears of a second wave spread with the global Covid-19 death toll topping 700,000

  • Coronavirus scientific committee warned that a second wave was highly likely  
  • Authorities grappling with sharp increase in new cases with 7,000 in past week 
  • Cities such as Lille, Nice and Biarritz have now toughened face mask regulations 

France could lose control of its coronavirus outbreak at any time, according to the country’s top scientific body.

The scientific committee warned that a second wave was highly likely in a report published by the Health Ministry’s website on Tuesday. 

It said that the situation was ‘under control, but precarious. We could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control.’ 

The warning came as authorities grapple with a sharp increase in fresh cases which has seen more than 7,000 new infections within the last week as well as a rise in the number of people being treated for the disease in intensive care.  

The global coronavirus death toll has now topped 700,000.  

The warning came as authorities grapple with a sharp increase in fresh cases which has seen more than 7,000 new infections within the last week (graphic showing growing number of daily coronavirus cases in France)

The country also reported 29 new coronavirus-related deaths which takes the confirmed total to 30,265 since the pandemic began – one of Europe’s highest death tolls (graphic showing growing number of daily coronavirus deaths in France)

In a statement the scientific committee on the disease wrote: ‘France has the situation under control but it is precarious with a surge of virus circulation this summer. 

‘The short term future of the pandemic mainly lies in the hands of the population. It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.’

France could ‘at any moment’ lose control over the spread of the coronavirus, the statement added.

The virus ‘has recently been circulating more actively, with an increased loss of distancing and barrier measures’ since France emerged from its strict two-month lockdown in May.

‘The balance is fragile and we can change course at any time to a less controlled scenario like in Spain for example,’ it said. 

The warning came as authorities grapple with a sharp increase in fresh cases which has seen more than 7,000 new infections in the last week.

The number of people being treated for the disease in intensive care as also rose by 13 between Friday and Monday, ending a downward trend maintained since April. 

The country also reported 29 new coronavirus-related deaths which takes the confirmed total to 30,265 since the pandemic began – one of Europe’s highest death tolls. 

Several French cities have now toughened their face mask rules and made it mandatory to wear outdoors in busy areas of cities such as Lille, Nice and Biarritz (pictured)

Several French cities have now toughened their face mask rules and made it mandatory to wear outdoors in busy areas of cities such as Lille, Nice and Biarritz.

Anne Hidalgo, the Paris mayor, is also expected to push for a similar order in parts of the capital this week as the number of cases across the country continue to rise with more than 100 ‘clusters’ currently being investigated. 

French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Monday urged the country ‘not to let down its guard’ and called on ‘every French person to remain very vigilant’. 

‘The fight against the virus depends on the state, local communities, institutions – but also on each of us,’ he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron also announced that the country’s 320,000 homecare workers would each receive a coronavirus bonus of €500. 

The tighter restrictions come after the global coronavirus death toll topped 700,000.

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