France's Castex says no full lockdown upon new COVID wave as economy unlikely to survive

France's Castex says no full lockdown upon new COVID wave as economy unlikely to survive
  • Clock-gray 22:14
  • calendar-gray 08 July 2020

The French government is preparing a plan for a possible new COVID-19 outbreak in the country in the coming months, but it excludes a second national lockdown as a measure to prevent it from spreading further, as the country’s economy would not "endure" its consequences, newly appointed Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday, APA reports citing Sputnik.

"Yes, a rescue plan [for the possible second wave of COVID-19] is ready but we are not going to impose a general lockdown as we did in March," Castex said, adding that his main goal is to prepare the country for the new virus outbreak with the maximum efforts given to "preserve economic and social life".

The minister added that France would not "endure" a second nationwide lockdown, as its economy faces a long-term recovery after having suffered from the coronavirus-related restrictions.

Castex also said that he will travel to Guiana on Sunday, the French overseas territory in South America, where the COVID-19 disease has accelerated over the last few days. The authorities reported 124 new cases in the department on Tuesday, bringing the total number to nearly 5,200, as the healthcare system reported a significant workload.

France’s previous government led by Edouard Philippe introduced a strict two-month lockdown from mid-March until May 11 amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Although France is continuing to emerge from the restrictive measures, some related controls are still in effect, including social distancing rules, the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places and a ban on mass gatherings.

As of Wednesday, the French authorities have reported 206,072 COVID-19 cases and 29,936 related fatalities.

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