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Health

Paris hospital director: Christmas should be cancelled due to COVID-19

PARIS (Reuters) - The traditional Christmas and New Year’s celebrations should be cancelled this year over fears it could lead to another resurgence in the COVID-19 virus, Paris hospital director Julien Lenglet told RMC Radio on Tuesday.

Lenglet said there was a risk that Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties - known in France as “Saint-Sylvestre” - could end up as a “giant, intergenerational cluster that could be at the origins of a potential new third wave” of COVID-19.

“I would say, without any hesitation, that we ought to cancel Christmas and Saint-Sylvestre,” said Lenglet, who works at the Antony Hospital in the Paris region.

France entered a second, national lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus at the end of October, but some politicians and health experts are hoping that by doing so, the COVID-19 numbers might start to come down, allowing allow the country to reopen in time for the Christmas season.

With more than 1.8 million confirmed cases since the outbreak of the disease, France has the fourth-highest tally of cases in the world, behind the United States, India and Brazil.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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