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France May Impose Second Quarantine Over Rising Number of COVID-19 Cases, Prime Minister Says

© REUTERS / ERIC GAILLARDPeople wearing protective face masks wait in line at a testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Marseille, France, September 17, 2020.
People wearing protective face masks wait in line at a testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Marseille, France, September 17, 2020. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned citizens of the country that the government may impose a new quarantine over the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, Sante Publique, the  French national health agency, said that the country had confirmed more than 16,000 new coronavirus cases within the past 24 hours marking the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak.

"If we do nothing, we may face the same situation as in March. The further deterioration of the situation may mean the second quarantine," Castex said on late Thursday, as quoted by Figaro newspaper.

The first quarantine was introduced in France on 17 March. Starting from 11 May, France began to gradually ease the coronavirus-linked restrictions.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March. To date, more than 32 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 979,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

France has confirmed over 536,000 coronavirus cases so far, with more than 31,000 fatalities. 

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