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French Senate approves state of health emergency as virus cases pass 10,000

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French senators have approved a bill giving the government special powers to fight the worsening coronavirus outbreak as the death toll rose to 372 on Thursday.

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The text, which will be examined by the National Assembly on Friday, allows the government to restrict peoples freedom of movement and rule by decree to requisition certains goods and services, over a period of two months.

The bill also empowers the government to take special measures in support of French companies hard-hit by the virus outbreak.

It was passed overnight by an overwhelming majority of senators, who were meeting in reduced format in line with health guidelines.

However, numerous left-wing senators abstained in protest at the duration of the state of emergency, which they considered too long.

The opposition senators also objected to giving companies the power to force employees to take part of their annual holidays during the crisis.

France crossed the threshold of 10,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday, the third day of a nationwide lockdown, with health authorities revealing 108 new deaths in just 24 hours — a 20% increase on the previous day.

During a press conference, health agency director Jerome Salomon addeRead More – Source