European Court of Human rights rejects French virus lawsuit

Health

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed a legal complaint from a French citizen who claimed the anti-COVID 19 measures put in place by the French government were insufficient.

In its decision Thursday, the Strasbourg-based court said Renaud Le Mailloux’s application is inadmissible as he could not establish he was directly affected by the measures he complained about.

Le Mailloux, who lives in the southern French city of Marseille, had joined an unsuccessful judicial action in France seeking an injunction on the French government to provide health professionals with FFP2 and FFP3 facemasks, surgical masks for patients, and mass coronavirus testing facilities for all.

The group also wanted the government to authorize the use of the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin drug combination for high-risk COVID-19 patients.

The court said applicants “cannot complain about a provision of domestic law, a domestic practice or public acts simply because they appear to contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.”

It added that applicants “must produce reasonable and convincing evidence of the likelihood that a violation affecting them personally will occur.”

Scores of lawsuits have been filed over France’s handling of the pandemic, targeting the government, nursing homes and others.

The government has acknowledged some missteps, but argues that mask shortages were a worldwide problem earlier this year, and that it made policy decisions based on the limited scientific knowledge about the virus at the time.

France has reported more than 2.2 million cases and more than 50,000 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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