Paris           -              Applause rang out from windows across France on Wednesday night as housebound residents cheered in solidarity with healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak gripping the country.

From Marseille to Paris, people took to their windows and balconies at 8:00 pm sharp (1900 GMT) to applaud in solidarity with the medical staff, some cheering or shining torches, while others played music.  “Long live the medical system!” one woman in Antibes on the French Riviera bellowed.

Elsewhere in Paris, choruses of applause echoed through the night from apartment buildings -- with residents vowing to repeat the evening routine throughout the lockdown.  France has imposed sweeping lockdown measures, confining millions to their homes for much of the day.

Residents are only permitted to leave with good reason -- and that includes legions of nurses, doctors and other medical professionals caring for the thousands of people infected with coronavirus across the country.  The confinement measures came into effect across France on Tuesday and are set to last for at least 15 days.  The country has more than 9,100 confirmed cases of the virus and 264 deaths.