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Workplaces top source of COVID-19 clusters in France, says doctor

Workplaces top source of COVID-19 clusters in France, says doctor

A sign asking customers to wear masks is seen at a shop in Vincennes during the coronavirus disease outbreak in France, Jul 17, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

PARIS: Workplaces are the main clusters of coronavirus infection in France and companies should have staff work from home as much as possible after the August holidays, one of France's top coronavirus experts said on Thursday (Aug 13).

Weekly health ministry data shows that since May 9, private and public companies have accounted for 22 per cent of 609 clusters of infection. Nearly a third of these clusters are currently under investigation by health authorities.

The data – which excludes retirement homes and individual families – also showed that health institutions accounted for 16 per cent of all clusters and extended families accounted for 14 per cent.

Prisons and public transport, including trains and planes, accounted for only 1 per cent of clusters and schools and universities only 4 per cent.

"Given that companies have the highest rate of virus infection clusters, we should make the wearing of masks mandatory in all enclosed spaces, including in private companies," Eric Caumes, head of infectious diseases at Paris hospital La Pitie-Salpetriere, said on Franceinfo radio.

Where possible, companies should continue to ask their staff to work from home, he said.

"Teleworking is reasonable," he said. "It is important to prevent infection between colleagues."

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Source: Reuters/dv

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