By Tony Winterburn • 28 September 2020 • 8:26
Bars and restaurants closed for a week last night in Marseille as French hospitals put scheduled operations on hold to free up space for the growing number of COVID patients.
All restaurants and bars in Marseille were forced to close for a week from last night. It comes after health authorities reported 14,000 new infections across France. Hospitals in Marseille and Paris cancelling scheduled operations to free up beds to make way for an expected massive influx of COVID patients.
French ministers launch scattered the new coronavirus restrictions in a bid to stem a rising tide of infections in the region. Hospitality businesses in the Mediterranean-coastal city will now have to close for seven days from tonight. It comes after health authorities reported 14,000 new infections across France on Saturday – the results of a mass testing effort.
It is understood that hospitals in the Paris and Marseille regions will put scheduled operations on hold to free up space for the growing number of COVID-19 patients. New figures from the French health ministry suggest at least 10 per cent of French intensive care beds are now occupied by COVID patients.
Hospitals temporarily suspended such operations back in March when the virus swept over France. This has created massive backlogs that still persist six months later.
The country’s Health Minister, Olivier Veran, insists that French hospitals are far from saturated, however. Veran also insisted that the country was planning no new lockdowns- but that remains to be seen. The minister spoke on a French free-to-air channel, LCI television, Mr Veran said ‘we do not want to confine the country again. Several countries around us made other choices. We don’t want this’.
He then urged the French to make an effort to slow the spread of the virus across the country, which has 31,700 virus-related deaths – the third-highest toll in Europe after Britain and Italy.
Will France go into a full lockdown?
A majority of people in France are overwhelmingly in favour of a new nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a new poll shows. However, roughly the same amount question the government’s handling of the crisis. According to the survey, 72 per cent of French citizens would be in favour of a new nationwide lockdown for a period of at least 15 days in a bid to contain the surge of coronavirus cases.
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