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World News

France's Macron: Expect to live with virus at least till mid-2021

French President Emmanuel Macron chairs a meeting with the medical staff of the Rene Dubos hospital center, in Pontoise, in the Val d'Oise, France October 23, 2020, as the country faces a new wave of infections to the COVID-19. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - France will have to live with the coronavirus at least until next summer, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

Macron, who was speaking during a visit to a hospital in Pointoise, near Paris, said there were no plans at this stage to reduce curfews aimed at preventing the virus spreading but that curfews could even be extended.

“When I listen to scientists I see that projections are for at best until next Summer,” he said, adding it was too early to say if France was headed towards new full or partial lockdowns.

The coronavirus is spreading through France faster than at the peak of the first wave in spring, a government scientific advisor said earlier on Friday.

France reported 41,622 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a new daily record, and will break through the 1,000,000 cumulative tally on Friday - a grim milestone for the government as it and other European capitals battle to keep their economies open.

France has announced plans to extend a curfew to 38 more administrative departments from midnight on Friday. In all, two thirds of the country’s 67 million population will be confined indoors each night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. until early December.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Chizu Nomiyama

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