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France triggers emergency measures to stop spread of coronavirus

PARIS — French authorities are taking emergency measures after a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases, in an attempt to both stop the spread of the virus and reassure the public.

President Emmanuel Macron upended his schedule and canceled two visits planned for later this week, the Elysée Palace announced Monday.

There are now 130 confirmed cases in France, a health ministry official announced Sunday, with one cluster of cases in the Oise area, 60 kilometers north of Paris. Two people have died.

Health Minister Olivier Véran announced a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people after an emergency ministerial council was held Saturday. This prompted the early closing of the iconic Paris Agricultural Show. Sundays Paris half-marathon was also canceled, and the Louvre is closed.

“We are now going to stage 2: The virus is circulating on our territory and our goal at this stage is to limit the spread,” Véran said during a visit to one of the affected areas.

“Stage 2” consists of slowing the spread of the virus across the country through different measures including restrictions on collective events, according to official documents. Its the last stage before the epidemic phase.

Specific management measures have been taken for the worst-hit areas. In the Oise region, all public meetings are now forbidden and some schools were closed Monday.

“These measures are temporary and we will likely have to revise them. They are restrictive and paradoxically we hope they dont last long because that means we will have contained the virus spread,” Véran said.

In the meantime, the economic impact of coronavirus on French businesses has prompted the Finance MinistrRead More – Source