‘We won’t forget a single name’: France passes landmark of 100,000 Covid deaths

'We won't forget a single name': France passes landmark of 100,000 Covid deaths
Photo: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron said the country would focus "all of its on getting out of this ordeal" after France passed the grim milestone of 100,000 Covid-19 deaths on Thursday.

A day earlier, the death toll stood at 99,805.

France is the third country in Europe to reach the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, after the United Kingdom and Italy.

“We will not forget a single face, a single name,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, sending his condolences to the victim’s families and friends.

“Since the start of the pandemic, 100,000 French women and men have succumbed to the virus. Our thoughts are for their families, their loved ones, for the children who have lost a parent or a grandparent, the bereaved siblings, the broken friendships.

“And if all our energy is now focused on getting out of this ordeal, we will not forget any face or name,” the president said.

Worldwide, the US has the highest death toll, with over half a million, followed by Brazil.

Nearly 30,000 people were killed in France in the first wave of the pandemic between mid-March and mid-May last year but the bulk of the deaths have been recorded since October, when the country was hit by a second surge in infections that remained stuck at a high level through the end of 2020.

With over 5,900 patients currently in intensive care, the highest level since spring 2020, the country is currently in the throes of a severe third wave.

On Tuesday, the government, which has blamed the spread of the more contagious British Covid-19 variant for the spiralling case-load, suspended all flights to and from Brazil to curb the spread of a new variant found in that country.

Opposition parties accuse Macron of letting the crisis spiral out of control by rebuffing doctors’ calls for a third nationwide lockdown in late January.

The centrist leader, who is expected to seek re-election next year, brought in a ‘partial lockdown’ from April 3rd which included a three-week school closure and closure of non-essential shops.

Travel between regions is also banned, a nighttime curfew is in place from 7pm, and cafes and restaurants, which have been closed since the start of a second national lockdown on October 30, remain shuttered.

READ ALSO Has France passed the peak of the third wave?

Vaccination woes

France has also drawn criticism for the initially slow pace of its vaccination campaign.

While the pace of inoculations has shot up in recent weeks, France is still lagging behind the US and Britain in the vaccination stakes.

So far it has administered 15.75 million injections compared with 40.96 million in Britain.

Macron’s government, which has been focusing on jabbing the elderly first, had been expecting to begin the rollout this week of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

That plan appeared to be in trouble after Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday it would delay rollout of the vaccine in Europe after it was suspended in the US over rare incidents of blood clots which have also affected the AstraZeneca jab.

France says it is sticking to its plan to make the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available to over-55s and is also standing by the AstraZeneca jab for the same age category.


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