Critical healthcare professionals in Paris say rising coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick in hospitals in the French capital, possibly forcing them to choose which patients they have the resources to treat.
The sober warning was delivered on Sunday in a newspaper statement signed by 41 doctors in the Paris region. Published by Le Journal du Dimanche, it comes as French President Emmanuel Macron has vigorously defended his decision not to lock France completely again as he did last year. Since January, Macron’s government has instead imposed a nationwide overnight curfew and followed it up with a grip bag with other restrictions.
But with coronavirus infections soaring and hospitals increasingly lacking intensive care beds, doctors have increased the pressure for a complete French lock.
The Paris region doctor who wrote in Le Journal du Dimanche said: “We have never known of such a situation, not even during the worst (terrorist) attacks” that targeted the French capital, especially attacks by Islamic State extremists in November 2015 at Bataclan. concert halls and other places that killed 130 people and filled the emergency departments of Paris with the wounded.
Doctors predicted that softer new restrictions imposed this month for Paris and some other regions will not quickly get the re-emerging epidemic under control. They warned that hospital resources will not be able to keep pace with needs and force them to practice “emergency medicine” in the coming weeks when falls peak.
“We already know that our ability to provide care will be overwhelming,” they wrote. “We will have to test patients to save as many lives as possible. This triage affects all patients, with and without Covid, especially for adult patients’ access to critical care.”
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Macron remains convinced that it was not calm to lock France down again this year, like some other European countries, although more than 2,000 deaths a week are pushing the country closer to the milestone of 100,000 people lost to the pandemic. The country now numbers more than 94,400 dead.
On Saturday, France recorded a further 42,619 infections in the previous day – several times the target for 5,000 daily cases set by Macron at the end of 2020. The number of patients in intensive care increased again on Saturday to 4791, approaching the peak of 4,903 achieved during France’s second wave in the fall.
“We were right not to carry out a lockdown in France at the end of January because we did not have the explosion of cases that each model predicted,” Macron said last week. “There will not be a mea culpa from me. I have no regrets and will not admit failure. ”
( Jowharwith AP and AFP)