French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned, on Monday, of the possibility of forcing the authorities to impose new closures in an attempt to contain another increase in cases of the Corona virus, which is pressing on hospitals.
“If during the next two weeks we witness the worsening of the epidemic indicators, and if the intensive care beds are filled more than we expect, then we will actually take additional measures,” Castex said in an interview with France Info radio.
In response to a question about the opportunities for new applications to stay at home and close businesses specifically, he said, “Nothing can be excluded, given what we see in our hospitals.”
Castex reiterated that “it should be possible” to avoid a nationwide lockdown like one month at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring.
But he said many people failed to appreciate that “the second wave is here,” noting that two other cities, Toulouse and Montpellier, were put on high alert late Sunday due to an increase in new cases – bringing the total to nine.
He specifically referred to Paris and its suburbs, where agents conducted around 500 checks over the weekend to ensure bars were closed to order and that restaurants included social distancing measures.
“In 95 cases, the clients had to pay fines,” Castex said.
And the National Health Agency announced, on Saturday, nearly 27,000 new cases of the virus every day, Saturday, and more than 16,000 on Sunday, and the total number of deaths has now reached 32,730.
Castex acknowledged that the government’s local StopCovid tracking app was ineffective, just weeks after admitting it hadn’t downloaded it himself.
Only 2.6 million downloads have been implemented since June, far fewer than versions in Britain and Germany, which had 16 million and 18 million downloads, respectively.
But Castex said that the government is working on a new version to be released on October 22nd, and “I will download this version.”