Emmanuel Macron portrait smashed by protestors in Poitiers
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Across France, another 28,784 coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, along with 48 deaths. Both figures are a significant rise on the previous week, with both cases and deaths trending up.
Gabriel Attal, a government spokesperson, noted the increasing pressure on French hospitals.
He said: “We are starting to see the fourth wave pass through the doors of our hospitals.
“Some people admitted to hospital regret not having been vaccinated because that could have protected them.
“We are going to continue this vaccine sprint started since the presidential address of July 12.
“Our goal is that 50 million people have already received a first injection by the end of August.”
According to figures from Public Health France (PHF), 3,531 COVID-19 patients were admitted to French hospitals last week.
This was an increase of 92 percent of the previous week, which in turn represented a 51 percent rise of the preceding week.
In a statement PHF said: “The increase in the number of new hospitalisations and admissions in critical care accelerated last week, confirming the hospital impact of this fourth epidemic wave.”
On Thursday the French government’s plans for vaccine passports, labelled health passes, were approved by the Constitutional Council.
This is the highest constitutional authority in France, removing a potential stumbling block.
Reacting to the news Mr Attal said: “This validation is good news in the fight against the epidemic.”
Under Mr Macron’s plans, which are due to come into effect on August 9, health passes will be needed to access trains, restaurants and other venues in France.
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These will indicate whether the holder has been double vaccinated, or recently recorded a negative Covid test.
The plan is controversial and has sparked large protests in key French cities.
Some of these, particularly in Paris, have turned violent with police coming under fire from rocks and other projectiles.
France’s Constitutional Council investigated the measure following a request from Prime Minister Jean Castex, along with a number of opposition MPs.
On Friday President Macron released a video on Instagram, urging French citizens to get vaccinated.
He said: “It’s a matter of citizenship, it’s the very pact of a nation, get vaccinated if you love your family, your friends, your brothers, your sisters and your parents.”
Mr Macron also thanked “our restaurant and café owners, and our cinema, theatre and festival directors” for “the efforts which are required of them during this summer”.
Finally, the president thanked the French people, for “accepting these rules”.
France has recorded over 112,098 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
Its vaccination programme began slowly, hit by sluggish EU procurement, but has since sped up dramatically.
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