PARIS (Reuters) – France could hit the peak of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in seven to 10 days with the new restrictive measures announced on Wednesday by French President Emmanuel Macron, Health Minister Olivier Veran told France Inter radio.
Macron ordered France into its third national lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back the third wave of COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.
“We could reach a peak of the epidemic in seven to 10 days if all goes according to plan”, Veran said.
“Then we need two extra weeks to reach a peak in intensive care units (ICUs) that could occur at the end of April.”
Daily new COVID-19 infections in France have doubled since February to average nearly 40,000. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care breached 5,000 this week, exceeding the peak hit during the six-week second lockdown enforced late last year.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and David Goodman)