French police have raided the homes of senior government and health officials as part of an investigation into their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Health Minister Olivier Véran and therefore the director of the national health agency, Jérôme Salomon, are among those whose properties were searched on Thursday. The raids came after a court launched an inquiry earlier this year into the government’s handling of the pandemic. it’s faced criticism over shortages of kit and slow response times. Prime Minister Jean Castex is additionally under investigation, French media report, as is his predecessor Edouard Philippe and Mr. Véran’s predecessor Agnès Buzyn. The prime minister and Mr. Véran are at the forefront of France’s new policy of imposing night-time curfews in nine cities, including Paris, from Saturday, which can be enforced by 12,000 police. “This means at 21:00 everyone must be reception and, without exception, every place, business or public service hospitable the general public are going to be shut,” Mr. Castex said on Thursday.
WHO: Europe restrictions ‘absolutely necessary’
How to tell which countries are coping best
Tracking the worldwide outbreak
In July, the court launched the inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic after members of the general public , including doctors and relatives of victims, alleged that it had been criminally negligent in its response to Covid-19.
The special court hears cases of alleged wrongdoing by ministers and other officialdom within the course of their duties. except for the claims to be substantiated, there would need to be evidence that officials knowingly did not take obvious steps that might have saved lives.
A further 22,951 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Wednesday. “We need to act. we’d like to place a brake on the spread of the virus,” Mr. Macron said during a television address. The president added that this wave of Covid-19 was different to the outbreak within the spring because the virus had spread to all or any parts of France. France managed to regulate the primary outbreak by introducing a national lockdown. It then opened bars and restaurants within the summer, and allowed foreign tourists to go to as a part of an attempt to spice up the ailing economy. Schools reopened and universities began teaching classes face to face in early autumn. But since August the amount of reported cases has accelerated quickly. Wednesday was the third time in six days that France reported quite 20,000 new infections. Mr. Macron said the new measures aimed to scale back daily cases to around 3,000. like the primary wave of Covid-19, there’s concern that hospitals and medical care units will become overwhelmed with patients. The curfew, from 21:00 to 06:00, will apply for a minimum of four weeks to Paris and its suburbs also as Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne, Rouen, Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier. Affecting around 22 million people, it’ll be applied for four weeks to start with and Mr. Macron’s government will seek to increase it to 6 .
The measures will stop people visiting restaurants and personal homes during the evening and night-time. Private parties are going to be banned, even in areas not under curfew, from midnight on Friday. But there’s some skepticism over how effective the curfew could be . “People were mainly going bent dine out which they’re going to still do… until 9pm,” Lou Mielot, a student at the University of Lyon, told the BBC. “This will create restaurants that are full from 7pm to 9pm, [where people] won’t be ready to keep a secure distance,” she added. Residents will need a legitimate reason to be outside their homes during the hours of curfew. President Macron said on Wednesday night he understood a curfew was a “hard” thing to ask people to try to to . On Thursday, Mr. Castex said travel during hours of curfew was permitted for trips to the hospital or pharmacy, or if work hours required. But a special certificate would wish to be produced as proof. Pre-booked tickets for planes and trains that arrive after the curfew are going to be allowed. Anyone found breaking the curfew are going to be fined €135 (£121). Businesses that suffer financially thanks to the new measures are going to be eligible for state aid. Any company with up to 50 staff within the nine cities affected are going to be eligible for help if their turnover has fallen by over half within the past year.