France reportedly announced on Saturday, February 29, that it was banning any assembly of more than 5,000 people in limited spaces amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. France has also urged its citizens not to greet each other with the traditional French gesture of kissing another's cheeks. The announcement came as the government stepped up containment efforts to curb the nationwide spread of COVID-19, as per international news reports.
France has detected close to 16 cases of COVID-19 as the infection continues to spread across the country. Several events scheduled that could have constituted a huge public gathering were cancelled by the government. A half-marathon in Paris supposed to be held on March 1 was cancelled. The French government also asked an annual agricultural fair to wind up early.
However, so far no change has been announced with respect to Municipal elections, and it will take place as scheduled on March 15.
French Health Minister Olivier Véran announced that people must avoid any physical contact as a health safety measure. He further told French media that people should avoid shaking hands, hugging, and kissing to greet each other. He added that amid the soaring cases of infection via human-to-human transmission, Frech citizens must restrict themselves to verbal communication instead of bodily gestures.
French Health Minister Olivier Véran told the media that France was not considering closing its border with Italy just yet amid concerns over the spread of the disease. Earlier, France had been sceptical about banning public gatherings or collective events citing no medical or scientific argument for doing so.
Speaking in Paris to French radio station RTL, Veran was asked about a Lyon-Juventus soccer match in Lyon, where about 3,000 Italian fans were expected. He said that France would not consider prohibiting the free movements of its people.
The total number of cases of the new Coronavirus in France spiked to 100 as of Saturday, 29 February. Two fatalities from the virus have emerged so far, as per news reports.
(With Agency Inputs. Image credits: AP)