French minister of health Olivier Véran announced the ban on Sunday as 1,126 have tested positive for the virus so far with 19 dead.
Along with the medical and health fears over the current coronavirus outbreak, there are also growing concerns about the economic impact of a pandemic on the world. In 1918 and 1919, at the end of World War I, the so-called 'Spanish Influenza' killed close to 18 million people. Yet the impact it had on the world economy at the time is poorly understood. Mediapart's Romaric Godin examines what lessons the deadly Spanish flu outbreak might hold for us today.
Jérôme Salomon, the head of France’s public health service, said 45 people have been hospitalised in intensive care, six more than when the last summary was issued Friday.
PM Édouard Philippe stopped short during a press briefing of raising the emergency response to the virus to “Phase 3”, the highest there is, but suggested it was only matter of time before the government would do so.
A snack bar worker had also contracted the virus and had been confined to home while another worker in the lawmakers' dining hall who was suspected of having caught the virus had been hospitalised.
The département (or county) most hit by the Covid-19 coronavirus in France so far is the Oise, just north of Paris. Here, where there had been at least 99 cases by Friday March 6th, the outbreak has now become an epidemic. As Caroline Coq-Chodorge reports, there is as yet no sense of panic across the département. But there is great concern for the area's elderly and most vulnerable residents who experts fear could play a “heavy price” at the hands of the virus. Meanwhile health professionals in the Oise say they feel abandoned by the authorities.
The number of confirmed infections rose by 138 to 423, a French health official said on Thursday.
President Macron said on Twitter that the governemnt will distribute them to health professionals and to French people infected with the coronavirus.
Workers at the Louvre in Paris - the most visited museum in world - voted not to open on Sunday as France reported 100 cases of the Covid-19 disease
Ban includes all indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people, as part of efforts to contain the France's coronavirus outbreak.
France will also keep several schools in the Oise area north of Paris closed after holidays end on Sunday in order to halt the spread of the virus, health minister Olivier Veran said.
The jump in figures prompted concern as French president Emmanuel Macron warned that the country was bracing for an epidemic.
The 60-year-old teacher has become the first French victim of the coronavirus in the country; the first death was that of a Chinese tourist.
The 30% to 40% fall in tourist numbers will have an 'important impact' on France’s economy, says finance minister Bruno Le Maire.
French health minister Agnès Buzyn on Saturday announced that an 80-year-old Chinese tourist who had been hospitalized in Paris since January 25th after being diagnosed as carrying the coronavirus had died, while his daughter, who also fell ill with the virus, had recovered and would be leaving hospital soon.