France on Thursday surpassed 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, a worrying landmark that came just over a week after French President Emmanuel Macron declared a national health emergency and a month-long curfew in France’s major cities in an attempt to curb new infections.
- France has now seen 1,000,369 confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to John Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
- On October 14, Macron announced a national emergency and massive regional lockdowns on primetime television after the country saw 20,000 new cases of Covid-19 three times over a six day period.
- There were over 27,000 new cases in France on Wednesday – the record high was on October 19 with 76,258 new cases.
- In Western Europe, the coronavirus outbreak in France is second only to Spain, which reached one million cases on Wednesday.
Many European countries have seen a troubling increase in positive Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, leading to fears that the continent is experiencing a second wave of the virus. Both Macron and French Prime Minister Jean Castex have publicly said the country is experiencing a second wave. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has also imposed regional lockdowns amid a spike in positive tests, while the Republic of Ireland this week reintroduced a stringent six-week lockdown. France last declared a public health emergency and enacted stay at home orders in March. That order was lifted in July when the number of Covid-19 cases decreased.
Ireland on Thursday became the first European country to reimpose a nationwide lockdown, with the government asking residents to stay within a three-mile radius from their homes. Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the lockdown could cost the government €1.5 billion and up to 150,000 people could lose their jobs. However, he said, Ireland had to make a “preemptive strike” against the virus “before it is too late.”