The prospect of introducing a total lockdown in the French capital is still under consideration, despite the inclusion of Paris in the list of highly infected areas in the country amid the deteriorating coronavirus situation, the city's First Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said on Friday.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex Thursday placed 20 French departments, including Paris and the central Il-de-France region under "enhanced surveillance" following a surge in cases of UK coronavirus mutation and the overall worsening of the COVID-19 infections in the country. The prime minister also noted that if the infections continue to escalate, the departments may face new restrictions, including weekend lockdowns, as early as March 6.
Lockdowns were already introduced in areas around the cities of Nice and Dunkirk. However, Gregoire said that a partial lockdown was "insufficiently effective" and earlier on advocated for a three-week total lockdown in the capital instead.
"If the situation deteriorates quickly, we will have to address the question of a stricter lockdown in Paris and the Paris region [Il-de-France] that would curb the epidemic and quickly restore hope and visibility to all," the official tweeted on Friday.
He also noted that the proposal of a three-week stay-at-home regime in Paris was a "hypothesis" rather than a "demand," and added that the final decision was reserved for the government.
Gregoire stressed that the Paris government was against "half-measures" upheld by the state, including a nationwide curfew from 06:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. local time (from 17:00 to 05:00 GMT), which has been in effect since mid-December.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said later that the authorities would examine the proposal of the Paris administration, but expressed doubts over its effectiveness to tackle the pandemic in three weeks.
The official also called for the introduction of a mandatory remote work regime.
Besides the curfew, France continues to maintain certain restrictions required by the current health situation, including the closures of museums, theaters, cinemas, restaurants, and bars.
To date, the health authorities have reported more than 3.7 million COVID-19 cases and 85,734 related fatalities. (/Sputnik)
( With inputs from ANI )
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