French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the launch of a military operation called ‘Resilience’ to help with “health, logistics and protection” as the country battles an increasing level of coronavirus infections.
During a visit to a military hospital on Wednesday, Macron revealed the plan, saying it “will be entirely devoted to helping and supporting the population, as well as supporting public service to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic.”
The news comes after French health authorities confirmed an additional 231 deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 1,331. The tally so far has only covered those who died in hospital, but authorities say they will soon add figures from retirement homes – a move likely to result in a jump in official fatalities from the illness.
France’s total confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose by about 13 percent to 25,233 on Wednesday. Over one-third of the country’s ventilator-equipped beds are occupied at this point, health agency director Jerome Salomon said.
Macron also pledged “massive investment” in the country’s public healthcare system after the crisis.
The country’s Council of Scientists on Tuesday warned that the severe 15-day lockdown measures introduced by the French government last week to limit the spread of the disease may need to remain in place for six weeks.
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