French youth protest demanding free and sufficient availability of masks

There have been accusations that the French government was fully informed, as early as 2018, about the shortages in the strategic reserves of safety masks in the country

May 19, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
France communist youth protest
French communist youth staged a protest in Lyon on Saturday.

On May 16, Saturday, activists of Communist Youth in Lyon protested in the French city, demanding the free provision of safety masks for people in distress amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown. Protesters demonstrating at the Gabriel Péri square at la Guillotière claimed that quality masks are not affordable for common people, who are already under economic duress due to the lockdown.

The organzation stated “it is unacceptable that essential goods and a social need as essential as health, should be subject to the speculation of parasites at the head of large distribution monopolies, which sell them at a strong price for their profit.”

“We say that the health crisis and the current economic crisis are not the results of chance but of a system, capitalism, which is unable to meet the social needs of the people, who are willing to do anything to maintain their profit, including sacrificing health workers’ lives,” the statement adds.

France has been facing an acute shortage of masks and other essentials in the fight against COVID-19. Earlier, on April 27, reported that “precautionary stock of 1 billion surgical masks has not been deliberately renewed by the governments under Francois Hollande and Emmanuel Macron and the French government had been fully informed as early as 2018 that strategic reserves of masks in the country were depleted.”

As of May 17, around 90,674 active COVID-19 cases have been reported in France. Around 27,625 people have died.