New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The French government on Wednesday restored the state of health emergency in the country amid a fresh spike in Covid-19 infections. The latest move government will give officials greater powers to impose new measures to contain the spread of the contagion.

As part of the government measures, President Emmanuel Macron has announced a curfew between 9pm and 6am for the areas worst-affected by covid-19. Ile-de-France and eight metropolitan areas - including Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint Etienne and Toulouse - will face the curfews for four weeks, starting on Saturday.

The president said, people will not be allowed to go to restaurants or visit friends during curfew hours but there will be no restrictions on the movement of public transport. The French President also said that anyone found flouting the curfew without a valid reason would be fined €135 (£122).

The government's move came as the number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 went above the 9,100 threshold for the first time since June 25. The President said it is time to act and put a brake on the spread of the virus while adding the latest measure does not prohibit people from visiting restaurants and private homes in the late evening and night.

The French government had previously declared a public health state of emergency in March this year, when hospitalisations caused by the epidemic were near their peak. Then, the authorities used their extra powers to order people to stay at home except for essential work, buying food or taking one hour of daily exercise. 

The state of emergency was lifted in mainland France in July, after the number of COVID-19 cases subsided. But since then, the disease has surged back, with Prime Minister Jean Castex saying France was in the midst of the second wave of the virus.

(with input from Reuters)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha