France Faces ‘Unavoidable’ Lockdown As Cases Rise Sharply

France Faces 'Unavoidable' Lockdown As Cases Rise Sharply. image: Wikipedia

France Faces ‘Unavoidable’ Lockdown as cases rise sharply.

A third national lockdown looks inevitable for France in blow to Macron as cases rise sharply in wake of the EU vaccine’s failure. The number of Covid-19 patients in France’s intensive care units has risen to a new high for this year as doctors warn a third wave of the virus could soon overwhelm hospitals.

Data on Sunday showed there were 4,872 ICU patients being treated, close to a November peak during France’s second wave of the virus, but below a high of about 7,000 in April last year. It comes as a group of 41 hospital doctors in the Paris region signed an article in the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche warning that they might soon have to start choosing between patients for emergency treatment.

Scientists have argued that the government’s partial lockdown measures are inadequate faced with fast-spreading coronavirus variants.

Over the last seven days, an average of around 37,000 new cases have been reported daily, up a quarter on the previous seven-day period, while bed shortages in hospitals in the most affected areas are becoming acute.

In total, there are currently 28,000 people in hospital with Covid-19 in France, slightly lower than the peak of 32,000 hospitalisations in the first wave in March and April last year, and 33,500 in the second wave, official figures show.

On Monday, the public health authorities reported that 4,974 people were in intensive care, lower than the peak of 7,019 in the first wave, but above the 4,903 second-wave high seen in November.

“The outlook is worse than frightening,” head of anaesthesia and intensive care at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in southeast Paris, Jean-Michel Constantin, told RMC radio on Monday.

“We’re already at the level of the second wave and we’re getting close to the first one… April is going to be dreadful.”

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Tony Winterburn

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