France faces key week to avoid 5th wave of Covid infections

Paris, Jul 18 (EFE).- France faces a key week to stave off a fifth wave of coronavirus infections as it looks to boost inoculation rates by approving restrictive measures for those who have not been vaccinated.

Over the past couple of days, France has recorded over 10,000 daily cases, a rate health minister Olivier Veran said was “higher than in previous waves”, according to Le Journal du Dimanche.

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal’s rhetoric was even stronger, telling Le Parisien that the choice was simple: “general vaccination or a viral tsunami”.

The measures announced by French president Emmanuel Macron earlier this week to promote vaccination are expected to be passed by the government on Monday, before the legislation is sent to Parliament on Wednesday for approval.

The rules make vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers and those who work with vulnerable people, as well as expanding the use of the vaccination passport to access bars, restaurants, long-distance transport and shopping and medical centers.

Over 4 million people have registered for vaccination since Macron announced the measures.

Large rallies were held across the country on Saturday, where some 114,000 people denounced what they see as a “health dictatorship”.

Health minister considered the protesters to be “ultra-minority”, while the government spokesperson said they are a “marginal group”, warning of a total lockdown because of “a small minority who do not want to be vaccinated”.

Some 69 percent of the French people back mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers, while 62 percent are in favor of restricting unvaccinated people’s access to public space, according to a survey published by Le Parisien.

Parliament speaker Richard Ferrand denounced death threats that some lawmakers had received if they vote in favor of the bill as well as attacks on their offices.

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