Nurse Kicked, Punched by Teenagers on Bus After Asking Them to Wear Masks

A nurse in France was attacked by two teenagers on a bus in the outskirts of Paris after she asked them to wear masks in accordance with national guidelines during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The woman was kicked and punched by two 16-year-olds on Tuesday, according to police. She suffered superficial injuries following the incident, which took place in Neuilly-sur-Marne, and was away from work for five days, Reuters reported.

The teenagers were arrested and their detention was extended on Wednesday for another 24 hours, according to the prosecutor's office.

Wearing a face covering in closed public spaces has been mandatory in France since July 21. From August 10, those aged 11 and above in Paris have also been required to wear a mask in busy outdoor areas over the next month.

Those violating the mask mandate will be fined $159 (€135) and those who breach the order more than three times in a month face six months in prison, Reuters reported.

Paris is among several other French cities, including Toulouse, Lille and Biarritz, where face coverings are compulsory in outdoor areas.

Last month, a bus driver in the city of Bayonne of southwest France died following an attack by five people after he tried to stop them from boarding the bus without wearing masks.

The group was said to have repeatedly punched the bus driver when he tried to prevent them from entering the bus and was hit in the head by one of the attackers after he stepped out of the bus.

The bus driver was declared brain dead by doctors after arriving unconscious at the hospital and died days later.

Paris, France, bus, April 2020
A passenger wearing a mask on a bus in Paris, France, seated near a poster outlining protective measures against COVID-19, pictured on April 9, 2020. Getty Images

Last week, three people were arrested in the city of Soisy-sous-Montmorency of northern Paris after a man at a laundromat was attacked after asking a customer to respect the mask requirement at the establishment.

The customer was reported to have hit the man with a stick numerous times. The incident, which was captured on surveillance cameras, was described as "intolerable" by French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, Reuters reported.

Fears of a second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Europe remain, with several European nations reporting a recent surge in new infections, including France.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned this week that the outbreak in France has been heading "the wrong way" for the past two weeks.

Weekly case totals in France have been rising from the week starting June 22, according to the World Health Organization. The seven-day rolling average of daily new infections has been increasing on a sharper trend from around July 22, according to Worldometer.

Over 20.6 million people globally have been infected since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, including more than 5.2 million in the U.S. More than 12.8 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 750,300 have died, as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates a comparison of average new cases in the U.S. and the European Union.

COVID-19 cases EU vs. U.S.
The average number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and European Union. STATISTA