The French Senate adopts a bill to manage the COVID-19 epidemic

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PARIS

As COVID-19 maintains its grip in Europe, with France as one of its centerpieces, the Senate has passed a bill that will give the government expanded authority in various areas.

He travels to the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, on Friday for immediate discussion.

The bill would give the government sweeping powers to limit the mobility of people and decide by decree to requisition services and goods for the next two months.

France suffers from a shortage of medical supplies, mainly surgical masks and protective gear, as do Spain, Italy and other neighboring countries.

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron announced in a televised address that the nation would be confined from noon on Tuesday, which meant staying home and only leaving for essential reasons – buying food, going to work not being able to. be performed from home, for medical / health reasons, walking a dog or exercising.

The president’s warning was stern. “We are at war,” Macron repeated, “with an illness, an unknown enemy”, and urged to take all precautions.

Since the lockdown was imposed, however, French police have made 4,095 arrests of people violating strict measures. Fines are set at € 135 ($ 145) and can reach € 375 if the restrictions are not followed. People must have a signed document if they go out for any reason other than the most critical.

French Interior Minister Christopher Castaner called people “crazy” who do not take the situation seriously enough.

“Our objective is not to punish the French but to protect them,” Castaner told the TF1 channel.

Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in December, France has reported 10,995 cases. The death toll on Friday stands at 372.

COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, China, last December, and has spread to at least 163 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Of more than 245,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 10,000, and more than 86,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the United States

Despite the increasing number of cases, most people infected only suffer from mild symptoms and recover.

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