COVID-19: France Suspends Bills, Rents As Country Goes Under Partial Lockdown

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Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus, as the EU banned foreigners 30 days, the French government has also announced a near total lockdown.

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:

Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus, as the European Union banned foreigners for the next 30 days, the French government has also announced a near-total lockdown. While the World Health Organisation chief has urged all countries to ramp-up their testing programs as the most effective way to combat the drastic spread of the fatal virus, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that its citizens must stay at home from midday on March 17 (local time) to at least 15 days while also suspending all gas, electricity and heating bills, and rent throughout the crisis.

According to reports, Macron not only declared a “public health war” but also called the enemy, which is the fatal COVID-19, as “invisible and elusive”. France has now deemed all journeys outside the home unless justified for essential professional or health reasons as unlawful. The French President has also said that anyone who is found violating the new emergency regulations would be punished. 

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Denouncing meeting outside, Macron said that “there can be no more outside meetings, no more seeing family or friends”. In order to contain the spread of the novel virus, the country’s government has decided to limit the number of people to “strict minimum”. He further added that if people fail to adhere to the new rules, the lives of other people will also be put under danger. 

In a bid to reduce the impact of the pandemic on France’s economy, Macron pledged 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. 

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'Test, test, test'

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”. 

WHO chief said, “But the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission. And to do that, you must test and isolate. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.

He added, "And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected. We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”

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