Amid the rising dread of the COVID-19 pandemic, France on April 9 announced that it would extend its lockdown in order to curb the spread of the pandemic. Governments across Europe are grappling with failing economies, loss of jobs and threats to public safety. As Europe deals with the economic downturn, health experts have warned that an early loosening of restrictions could lead to a multiple fold spread of the contagion that has now infected 15,18, 773 and killed 88,505 worldwide till now.
France has reported 1,12,950 positive cases and 10, 869 deaths since the first case was reported in January this year. Talking about the lockdown, an official close to President Emmanuel Macron revealed that the ‘confinement order’ which was issued on March 7 and was scheduled to end on April 15 would be extended further. This comes as Macron is scheduled to address the nation in the coming week in an attempt to guide them on the path forward.
On the other hand, Italy and Spain still remain the worst-hit nations in Europe with more than 100 deaths per day. Italy has witnessed 1,39, 422 positive cases and 17,669 deaths till now. In Britain, which is facing a shortage of ventilators, the number of infected crossed 60,733 and death toll touched 7,097. Meanwhile, the country's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still admitted in the ICU and is reportedly recovering.
The COVID-19 crisis has also deeply strained economies across the world. World Trade Organisation head, Roberto Azevedo reportedly warned world leaders that the economic fallouts resulting from this health crisis could be the “deepest economic failures.” This comes as both Germany and France, the EU's two largest economies, are bracing for a painful hit. According to Germany's leading research institute, Gross domestic product in export powerhouse Germany is expected to shrink by nearly 10 per cent in the second quarter, of the year.
France, meanwhile, is already in a technical recession, the Bank of France reportedly said. It added that its first-quarter performance was its worst since 1945. Meanwhile, in Spain, the police started lockdown controls as cabin fear and slowing of death toll tempted residents out of their residents. Spain which still remains the second worst-hit country by the pandemic reported 1,48,220 cases of infection and 14,792 deaths.