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France declares state of health emergency

The ruling will come into effect across the country from midnight on the night of Friday 16. No indication of length it will last has been given.

A decree was presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, restoring the state of health emergency throughout France. 

France had previously put in place a nationwide state of health emergency that lasted between March 24 until July 10, and led to the introduction of lockdown measures around the country. 

"The Covid-19 epidemic constitutes a health catastrophe that, by its nature and gravity, endangers the health of the population", a new report of the Council of Ministers details. 

"It justifies the declaration of a state of health emergency so that measures strictly proportionate to the health risks involved and appropriate to the circumstances of time and place can be taken," it adds.

The objective of declaring a state of national health emergency is to give a "clear and solid legal basis" to the measures taken by the government to deal with Covid-19.

No indication of how long it will last has been given.

Last week France recorded some 115,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including nearly 27,000 just on Saturday. 

In the region of Ile-de-France, the rate of positive tests is close to 17% and 42% of intensive care beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients.

Read more: 

France to introduce 21:00 curfew in nine cities

Coronavirus: France records 23,000 cases in past 24 hours

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