The outbreak of the corona virus in France is "very worrying" and "worsens very quickly," said the country's health chief on Monday.
"The number of cases doubles every three days," said Jerome Salomon of France Inter.
"I want our citizens to recognize that there are people who are sick, in intensive care and that there are hundreds," he said.
According to the latest official figures released on Sunday, there were 127 coronavirus deaths and 5,423 confirmed cases in France.
That was a jump of 36 deaths and over 900 cases in 24 hours. More than 400 people were hospitalized in severe condition.
"There is real concern that the speed of the outbreak could saturate hospitals, and this is something we absolutely want to avoid," said Salomon, highlighting the badly affected eastern region of Alsace near Germany and the Greater Paris area .
"So we have to do everything we can to slow the outbreak," he said.
"Every French person has to say every morning: How can I reduce the number of people I speak to by a third or a quarter?
"Stay at home, it's that easy."
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