The French government declared a public health state of emergency on Wednesday.
“The COVID-19 epidemic constitutes a public health disaster which, by its character and its severity, puts at risk the health of the population,” the government said in a statement announcing the state of emergency.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced later that nine of the country’s largest cities, including Paris, will have to abide by a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for at least four weeks.
“We have to act. We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus,” Macron said.
New confirmed cases of coronavirus in France reached 22,591 on Wednesday, public health data showed, up from 12,993 cases the day before.