French President Macron to address nation on #coronavirus Monday night: presidency

President Emmanuel Macron will address an anxious French nation on Monday night on the coronavirus outbreak that has seen schools, cafés and restaurants closed, the presidency said.

Macron was to hold a meeting with his prime minister, top military adviser, intelligence coordinator and ministers of health, the interior and foreign affairs on the health crisis before giving a televised address at 8pm Paris time (19:00 GMT).

Earlier Monday, France’s director general of health Jérôme Salomon said that the coronavirus outbreak in France is "very worrying" and "deteriorating very fast".

"The number of cases double every three days," Salomon said on the France Inter radio network.

"I want our citizens to realise that there are people who are sick, who are in intensive care and that (their number) runs into hundreds," he said.

According to the latest official figures published on Sunday, France has had 127 coronavirus deaths and 5,423 confirmed cases.

That was a jump of 36 deaths and over 900 cases in 24 hours. More than 400 people have been hospitalised in a serious condition.

"There is a real worry that the speed of the outbreak could saturate hospitals and this is something we absolutely want to avoid," Salomon said, singling out the badly affected eastern region of Alsace near Germany and the greater Paris area.

"This is why we must do everything to slow down the outbreak," he said.

"Each Frenchman and Frenchwoman must tell themselves every morning: how can I reduce by a third or fourth the number of people I approach?

"Remain at home, it's as simple as that."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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