France could be sent back into a second national lockdown after coronavirus cases accelerated at an “exponential” rate and President Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out taking the toughest action possible to try to take control of the situation.
On Friday, 7,379 coronavirus tests returned with a positive result – just 200 less than the previous all-time high record of 7,578 cases recorded in the European country on 31 March.
The sharp increase in cases was recorded just days before schools in France plan to reopen with classrooms re-starting since lockdown was first introduced in March.
Cases have been increasing by approximately 1,000 extra per day after 5,429 were recorded on Wednesday, 6,111 on Thursday, and then Friday’s 7,379.
Addressing the increasing figures on Friday, President Macron commented: “We’re doing everything to avoid another lockdown and in particular a nationwide lockdown.”
He went on to call on the French public to be “collectively very rigorous” in their approach to their own health and safety in order to help rule out a second national lockdown.
The President also declared: “Containment is the crudest of measures to fight against a virus.”
In a bid to help fight the increasing figures, French authorities introduced new measure on Friday to make masks mandatory in outdoor spaces.
While infection rates have increased in the European country, the death toll has continued to hold low numbers.
On Friday, 20 people were recorded as dying from the disease – bringing the French death toll up to 30,596.
The risk of further lockdowns come as protests flare up across Europe over the measures that have been in place since Spring.
On Saturday, thousands attended an ‘anti-corona’ rally in Berlin as German nationals protested the lockdown measures inflicted by authorities there – and despite infection rates increasing in the country.
While in the UK, thousands of conspiracy theorists gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday to deny the existence of the disease altogether.
Crowds gathered to protest – ignoring the fact that over 24 million have been infected and over 838,000 have died as a result of the deadly virus to propose that it is a hoax.
Meanwhile, death rates around the world have lowered in the eight months since the virus first drew concern as doctors have improved their ability to fight the virus.
While hopes of a potential vaccine against the virus have been growing in the UK since April when Oxford University began trailing a potential vaccine.