France Surpasses 100,000 Covid Deaths
France on Thursday became the latest country to record more than 100,000 deaths due to Covid-19.
It’s a humbling moment for President Emmanuel Macron, who refused to lock down the country for a third time in January despite calls to do so from the medical community and the government’s own scientific advisory committee. He argued that would be a last resort given the human and financial cost for the economy, and instead tightened curbs in Covid hot spots, like the Paris region of Ile-de-France and Provence in the south.
Yet deaths continued to climb as variants spread, prompting the French leader to eventually implement additional restrictions in March that effectively amount to another lockdown.
With Macron up for re-election in 12 months time, the speed with which he can get the pandemic under control and reopen the economy could play a critical role in shaping his political future.
France is now ranked third in Europe for fatalities.
Like other countries, Macron’s government had been counting on vaccines to help bring the outbreak under control, but the rollout across the region has been plagued by delays. And despite an acceleration over the past few weeks, the inoculations have so far had a marginal impact, with most EU states experiencing a third wave./bloomberg
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