May 11, 2020 / 7:37 AM / 22 days ago

French Health Minister warns lockdown easing could be reversed

FILE PHOTO: French Health and Solidarity Minister Olivier Veran delivers a speech as he presents the details for the end of the country's lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Hotel Matignon in Paris, France May 7, 2020. Christophe Archambault/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - France could reverse the relaxation of its nationwide lockdown if there was a resurgence of the new coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Olivier Veran warned on Monday.

“If the virus were to resume its wild race, we would again take lockdown measures,” Veran told BFM television.

France, with the world’s fifth-highest death toll, has enforced an eight-week lockdown since March 17 to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. It is gradually lifting those restrictions from Monday.

Commenting on the recent discovery of new clusters of infection in the country, Veran said: “I am not surprised. It shows we are going to have to live with the virus. The more vigilant we are collectively, the fewer clusters we will have.”

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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