France extends night-time curfew to 70% population amid soaring caseload

New Delhi (NVI): Nearly 70 per cent of the French population will be under a 9pm to 6am curfew from midnight tonight after the government more than doubled the regions covered by the measure.

Prime Minister Jean Castex added 38 departments to those that have been under curfew for a week, bringing the total to 54 out of 96.

Curfews in Lille, Lyons, Marseilles and other big cities will be extended far into surrounding regions, as in Paris.

PM Castex made the announcement describing the situation as “serious” while reiterating that the second wave was upon the country.

“A second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now under way in France and Europe. The situation is very serious,” Castex said.

Castex, while addressing a press conference, said the order will now affect an estimated 46 million people and will include some overseas French territories.

Last week, President Emmanuel Macron announced a night-time curfew in Paris and eight other cities to control the spread of the coronavirus.

France has reported more than 1,041,991 confirmed cases and more than 34,000 deaths.

France and a host of other European countries are experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections. It is one of four countries which have been identified as current coronavirus hot spots on the continent. The others are the UK, Russia and Spain.