AGENCIES, Paris: At a time when the coronavirus outbreak in France is being described as “very worrying” and “deteriorating very fast” by the head of the country’s health service on Monday, there was low voter turnout for local municipal polls. Less than 40 % of registered voters participated in the mayoral elections.
Many expressed bemusement after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s announcement on Saturday that the vote would go ahead even as he declared all cafes, bars, cinemas and non-essential shops would close until further notice.
In the race for Paris City Hall, an exit poll showed President Emmanuel Macron’s candidate, former health minister Agnes Buzyn, coming third behind the socialist incumbent Anne Hidalgo and a conservative challenger.
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.