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Coronavirus

France Is Bracing for a Potential New Lockdown

October 28, 2020

PARIS — France is bracing for a potential new lockdown as the president prepares a televised address aimed at stopping a fast-rising tide of virus patients filling French hospitals and a growing daily death toll.

French markets opened lower on expectations that President Emmanuel Macron will announce some kind of lockdown Wednesday, though the government has not released details amid ongoing discussions about what measures would be most effective.

Many French doctors are urging a new nationwide lockdown, noting that more than half of intensive care units are now occupied by COVID patients and medical staff are under increasing strain.

Business owners and some politicians are pushing for a compromise, such as local lockdowns in hard-hit areas, or a lockdown that would allow schools to stay open.

France reported 523 virus-related deaths in 24 hours Tuesday, the highest daily tally since April. It is reporting tens of thousands of new infections per day, and more than 380 new cases each week per 100,000 people.

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