France gets 30 million masks for health workers as lockdown looks set to be extended

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France has received 30 million protective face masks to help healthcare workers treat patients infected by the coronavirus, French Minister for Health Olivier Véran said Thursday. 

He advised against use by the general public, and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe reiterated that face masks were “useless” for day-to-day protection and deprived healthcare workers who needed them.

Meanwhile, the French lockdown that began this week is likely to last beyond the forecast two weeks, according to Geneviève Chêne, the director general of Public Health France.

Chêne told French radio station FranceInfo on Thursday that France should start to see “a major slowdown within two to four weeks” but that the primary objective remained the conservation of the healthcare system. She said that it was “likely to be necessary to extend the confinement so that this slowdown is sufficient.” 

French President Emmanuel Macron announced lockdown plans in a televised address on Monday evening.

From Tuesday midday local time, residents were instructed to stay at home. Those who wish to leave their home must carry a signed copy of a government-approved certificate permitting certain activities such as buying groceries or visiting the sick.

Source : CNN

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