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France to shut non-essential public places, as death toll reaches 91

March 15, 2020 01:29 AM


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France on Saturday drastically stepped up its measures against the spread of the coronavirus, announcing the closure of all non-essential public places including restaurants and cafes from midnight (2300 GMT).

“I have decided on the closure until further notice from midnight of places that receive the public that are non-essential to the life of the country. This includes notably cafes, restaurants, cinemas and discos,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters.

Top health official Jerome Salomon meanwhile announced that the death toll from COVID-19 had risen by 12 over the last day in France to 91, with the total number of infected standing at 4,500.

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