Macron blames “British variant” for French woes as he extends lockdown

French President Emmanuel Macron has blamed the “British variant” of Covid-19 for disrupting his nation’s handling of the pandemic, as he announced a four-week extension to restrictions during a televised address to the nation on Wednesday.

The French premier insisted the country had done well in handling the crisis but the ‘British variant’ created “a pandemic inside the pandemic” because it is a “more contagious” and “more deadly” form of the virus.

The announcement comes as surpassed 5,000 Covid-19 patients in intensive care beds across the nation, the highest number this year.

“We will lose control if we do not move now,” Macron said as he revealed non-essential shops will close from Saturday and schools will shut for three weeks, insisting “it is the best solution to slow down the virus.”

France’s response to the Covid-19 crisis has been hampered by its sluggish vaccination roll out, which itself is a consequence of appointing Brussels to lead on the procurement of jabs.

To date, less than 12 per cent of French citizens have had at least one dose of a vaccine.

The vaccine the nation does have to hand, namely the Oxford AstraZeneca jab developed in Britain, the French leadership has done all it can to undermine the efficacy of.

Macron foolishly stated in January that the British vaccine “doesn’t work as expected” and is “almost ineffective” in senior citizens, a myth that has firmly been debunked but not before doing significant damage to trust in the vaccine on the continent.

Despite being forty percentage points behind Britain in the vaccination race – who presumably also would have been affected by this so-called ‘British variant’ – the French President bizarrely claimed this week that the French effort “will have completely caught up with the British” within “a few weeks” when Britain will be “increasingly dependent on us to vaccinate their population”, in a thinly-veiled threat referring to the proposed vaccine export ban.