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'People don't understand the reality of the disease,' warns MP as French COVID cases soar

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A woman balances on a railing on a hill above Lyon, France, which is in a monthlong partial lockdown
A woman balances on a railing on a hill above Lyon, France, which is in a monthlong partial lockdown   -   Copyright  Laurent Cipriani/AP
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Despite being in the second week of a national lockdown, France has so far failed to note any real progress in stemming the spread of the coronavirus infection.

After registering almost 50 thousand infections per day over the past week, it has now reported the highest number of confirmed cases in Europe.

Despite renewed hopes of a vaccine, authorities still fear a tough winter ahead.

Bruno Bonnell, a Rhone deputy for President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche movement in the National Assembly, says different rules as well as misunderstandings about the seriousness of the situation, are making this second lockdown much more complicated.

"In the first confinement it was easy, as the people who were in the street were clearly not in confinement. But now we have to determine who is going to work, who is not going to work, who is going to school."

"It may be a little more complex but now we know the 'fine fear' is going to be a factor of fewer irregularities in the confinement measures.'

On Monday, France's Health Minister, Jérôme Salomon, warned that the peak of the second wave in France is still to come.

Epidemiologists have also warned that it will take longer for the numbers to drop this time than the March lockdown because the rules are less rigid now and more people are allowed to leave their homes.

"The problem is that people don't really understand the reality," says Bonnell.

"Thanks to the media we see a lot of people in hospitals. People underestimate how difficult it is to control the sickness when you reach the hospital doors, so showing its clearly a bad disease is helping us understand. But right now a lot of people underestimate the difficulty of the disease."