‘Please get vaccinated’: France cautious on Covid situation after Austria, Germany impose strict measures

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  • The World Health Organization has once again recognized Europe as “at the epicenter” of the coronavirus pandemic, with the region accounting for the vast majority of new cases and deaths in recent weeks.
  • France recorded 20,366 Covid infections on Thursday, the second day in a row that recorded more than 20,000 new daily infections as the latest wave of the pandemic gathers pace.

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French Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runner said on Friday that the government was monitoring the latest wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe “very carefully”, urging citizens to get vaccinated to ensure strict measures were not necessary. Will be

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This comes at a time when many countries in Europe are imposing strict public health restrictions to deal with the sharp rise in Covid infections.

Earlier on Friday, Austria became the first country in Western Europe to impose a complete national lockdown.

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The World Health Organization has once again recognized Europe as “at the epicenter” of the coronavirus pandemic, with the region accounting for the vast majority of new cases and deaths in recent weeks.

“The situation appears to be, and as you can see I am cautious, a little better than Austria and Germany. Maybe it is because we have achieved a level of vaccination coverage that is quite high, the whole population 75% are now fully vaccinated,” the pannier-runner told CNBC’s Karen Tso on Friday.

“We have some kind of tight control over the sanitation situation, but obviously we will follow it closely in the days to come,” he said.

France recorded 20,366 Covid infections on Thursday, the second day in a row that recorded more than 20,000 new daily infections as the latest wave of the pandemic gathers pace.

A spokesman for the French government said earlier this week that there were no additional measures on the agenda, adding that the focus would be on vaccines to limit the number of people admitted to hospital.

‘Please get vaccinated’

Asked whether the economic damage from another lockdown would be comparable to the first wave of Covid infections in Europe last year, the pannier-runner replied: “I don’t think so because now we know how to organize ourselves “

“But to be in a position to take some higher containment measures would not be good news. So, that’s why we’re motivating people to get vaccinated and that will be my main message: Please get vaccinated,” she said. ,

“It’s the only weapon we have against this virus today and it seems to be quite effective even if it’s not perfect.”

Austria’s government said on Friday it would impose lockdown measures for an initial period of 10 days from Monday, warning that the measures could continue for up to 20 days. The unconnected people of the country have already been barred from stepping out of their homes for non-essential purposes.

Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg said the government plans to make COVID vaccination mandatory for the entire population by February next year, adding that it was necessary to prevent another wave of infections.

Austria reported 15,145 new Covid cases on Thursday, setting another record high for daily positive tests. Hospitalization, death and the number of Kovid patients in ICU is also increasing rapidly.

About 65% of Austria’s population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, which Schulenberg previously described as “embarrassingly low”.

About 68% of Germany’s population has been fully vaccinated. Both countries have the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, far behind countries such as Spain and Portugal.

Meanwhile, Germany informed of With more than 65,000 new cases on Thursday, health officials warned that the true number of cases could be two or three times higher. Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this week that the latest Covid wave was hitting the country with “full force”.

— CNBC’s Chloe Taylor

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