UPDATE 1-France must accept new national lockdown, says hospital professor

28 Oct 2020 / 15:48 H.

    * Macron to address nation at 1800 GMT

    * Hospitals coming under strain

    * (Adds detail and background)

    PARIS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Professor Philippe Juvin, a leading member of Paris' Georges-Pompidou hospital, told RTL radio on Wednesday that France had to accept a new, national lockdown to tackle a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.

    "We must take it up," said Juvin.

    French President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address on Wednesday evening. His government has been exploring a new, national lockdown from midnight on Thursday, BFM TV reported, albeit a slightly more flexible one than the two-month shutdown that began in mid-March.

    Schools could remain open even as restrictions on people's movements become more severe, BFM TV added.

    France imposed a night-time curfew on major cities, including Paris, two weeks ago running from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., but the COVID-19 figures have continued to worsen.

    Official data on Tuesday showed that France had reported 523 new deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, and 33,417 new confirmed COVID cases.

    France has registered a total of 35,541 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,198,695 confirmed COVID cases. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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