The number of coronavirus cases in France is surging at a worrying rate, and on Thursday, health officials reported 30,621 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, up on Wednesday’s 22,591, with the overall total exceeding 800,000. The death toll from coronavirus now stands at 33,125 following a further 88 fatalities in the most recent measure. On Wednesday, the French Government declared a public health state of emergency, providing officials with greater powers to impose new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Just hours later, Mr Macron ordered a 9pm curfew in Paris and eight other big cities that will last for an initial four weeks, warning: “We are in a worrying situation. We have to react.”
But a humiliating new poll carried out with Franceinfo has revealed French people are increasingly turning against the French President, with more than half believing they have been lied to don’t trust him to lead the country through the current crisis.
The online Odoxa-Dentsu consulting survey of 1,004 French adults on October 14 and 15 showed 53 percent don’t think he has told the truth, while 57 percent don’t trust Mr Macron to take the right steps to turn the corner on the coronavirus pandemic.
The StopCovid tracking application in France has also been criticised over its ineffectiveness and although it will soon be replaced by a new formula, 59 percent don’t trust the French President to set up a new alert system for nearby infections.
Emmanuel Macron has come under attack for his response to the coronavirus pandemic in France
Emmanuel Macron is coming under huge pressure from the French public
The continued economic damage the pandemic is inflicting on the French economy also remains a huge concern, with 56 percent doubting the President has the ability to guide the country through this situation.
This is also a doubt shared by the right-wing electorate, with only 45 percent of his party’s supporters trusting him in the field of economics.
But 64 percent of the French people polled are in favour of the new 9pm curfew announced by Mr Macron for Paris and eight other major cities, while 35 percent are opposed to it.
Despite this, the French President’s current strategy on curbing the rapid spread of coronavirus has been brutally destroyed by some of his political rivals.
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French MEP Jerome Riviere, who is also President of the French delegation to the Identity and Democracy group, tweeted: “Faced with the obvious failure of its health policy, the government is attacking the freedoms of our private lives. It is very serious!
“The actions taken by Macron are totalitarian!”
Sebastian Chenu, a member of the National Assembly for Nord’s constituency, wrote: “Because of inconsistent measures, our hospitality sector is at risk of going out of business.
“It is not for them to pay the price of the incompetence of this government.”
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Coronavirus cases in France have been surging over recent weeks
A 9pm curfew is being imposed on France and several other French cities
On Wednesday evening, Mr Macron imposed a nightly curfew on almost one third of the country’s 67 million people to tackle a second wave of coronavirus cases but stopped short of introducing another full national lockdown.
The curfew, which will take effect from Saturday and run each night from 9pm. to 6am the following morning, are being imposed in the greater Paris region, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier and five other cities.
There will be no restrictions on public transport, and people will still be able to travel between regions without restrictions.
But family gathering must be restricted to no more than six people. Anyone found to be violating the curfews will be fined €135.
Mr Macron sent out a defiant message after announcing the latest strict coronavirus lockdown measures on Wednesday evening.
He said in a televised address: “The message I want to send this evening is that I need each of you, we need each other, to find solutions.”
“We will come out of this stronger, because we will be more united,” he said. “We will get through this, together.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.