Amid coronavirus outbreak, the French government has reportedly announced a 15-day lockdown, prohibiting all but essential outings in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus. According to an international media outlet, the French authorities have said that tens of thousands of police will be patrolling the streets and issuing fines of 38 to 135 euros for people without a written declaration justifying their reasons for being out. Furthermore, the French President Emmanuel Macron has described the battle against COVID-19 as a ‘war’.
According to an international media outlet, people will be allowed to step outside for essential activities, such as buying groceries, walking their dogs or seeking medical help, but they must carry a signed form explaining where they are headed and why. Travelling to work is also permitted so long as the work is essential and cannot be done from home.
Strange view: Deserted #EiffelTower, one of the most visited places in the world. From 12 pm today all #France on lockdown. You can't even go for a walk with your child. Only jogging. #COVID19france #Paris #TourEffel pic.twitter.com/iPmQwjhEld— Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka (@K_Boronska) March 17, 2020
In a sombre address on March 16, Macron said that COVID-19 is ‘invisible and elusive’. He further also informed that the authorities will be suspending all gas, rent, electricity and heating bill across the nation. He added that anyone who is found violating the new emergency regulations would also be punished.
Furthermore, Macron also pledged that a €300 billion package and ensured that ‘not a single firm will go bankrupt’. He also promised the suspension of the bills throughout the crisis and declared borders will be closed from Tuesday, and only French citizens will be allowed to go to their homes.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on March 16 that the best way to combat the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus for all countries is to ramp up their testing programs. The WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a conference in Geneva that the ‘simple message’ he has for all countries is ‘test, test, test’. He further added that the countries will remain unsuccessful to tackle the pandemic if they fail to test all suspected cases and remain ‘blindfolded’.