Despite increasing COVID-19 cases, President Emmanuel Macron’s administration has so far not declared a new national shutdown, but has instead chosen to tighten measures locally in hard-hit cities such as Nice and Dunkirk, but Paris has been spared so far.
“I urge everyone, and especially those living in the capital, to be extremely careful, wear the mask and respect social distance. The aim is to reduce the pressure on the hospital system,” Castex said during a visit to a hospital.
The number of people with COVID-19 in intensive care units exceeded 4,000 for the first time since 26 November, with almost 1,100 COVID-19 patients in ICU units in the Paris region alone.
In Paris and the surrounding region, healthcare managers say the intensive care units are almost congested.
Castex said that in the Ile-de-France region around Paris, the vaccination campaign would be accelerated this weekend with 25,000 extra doses.
France’s vaccination program has been hampered by logistical bottlenecks and problems with deliveries from vaccine manufacturers, but Castex said the campaign accelerated, with 320,326 shots administered on Friday, a new record.
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