A lockdown remains the only viable option to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in France and it should remain in place for at least six weeks, the country’s scientific council on the virus has said, calling for stronger enforcement.

“The lockdown needs to be strictly implemented,” the group, which advises French President Emmanuel Macron on how to fight the coronavirus, said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Moreover, the lockdown measures should become even stricter, the scientists argued.

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France has been in lockdown for over a week now, as the central government closed all non-essential venues while a number of communities implemented curfews altogether. 

The advisory council made their comments as France became the fifth country to report over 1,000 deaths, with the toll there climbing to 1,100 on Tuesday. The country now has 22,300 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Europe has become the hotbed of Covid-19, with over 200,000 cases in the region. Italy remains the worst-hit European nation, with 6,820 deaths due to the highly contagious virus.

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