Medical &Health

French Riviera to go into weekend lockdown over Covid

The French Riviera will go into

lockdown for the next two weekends to contain Covid-19 which has been

spreading faster in the tourist hotspot than elsewhere in France, the

region’s top official said on Monday.

Controls at airports and at the land border the southern Alpes-Maritimes

region shares with Italy would be tightened over the next two weeks, prefect

Bernard Gonzalez said, and stores larger than 5,000 metres square (54,000

square feet) would be closed.

The coastal city of Nice, the region’s capital and France’s fifth-biggest

city, has been recording 700 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, three

times the national average.

Senior French hospitals official Remi Salomon has described the epidemic

as “out of control” in the region and said measures taken in recent weeks

have not been sufficient.

The coastal area affected by the lockdown, stretching from Theoule-sur-Mer

to Menton, includes Nice and other famous resorts including Cannes and

Antibes.

Residents will be allowed to go out for one hour daily so long as they

stay within a radius of five kilometres (three miles) from their homes during

the lockdown which will start at 6:00 pm on Fridays and end at 6:00 am on

Mondays.

France has avoided imposing a third nationwide lockdown to fight the

virus, in contrast with some of its neighbours, in what analysts see as a

risky gamble by President Emmanuel Macron to allow the economy to gain some

steam.

Currently mainland France has a nightly curfew beginning at 6:00 pm. The

only part of the country with a complete lockdown in place is the Indian

Ocean island of Mayotte where the measure has been in effect since February

5.

The curfew has been credited with keeping a lid on infection rates but

government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Saturday the latest trends were “not

good”.

After a slow start, France’s vaccination campaign has gained some momentum

with more than 2.5 million people receiving a first dose and, of those, over

1.1 million a second dose.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)