Doctors issue warning over rise in French COVID-19 intensive care patients

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of COVID-19 patients in France's intensive care units has risen to a new high for this year, health ministry data showed on Sunday, as doctors warned a third wave of infections could soon overwhelm hospitals. There were 4,872 ICU patients being treated for COVID-19, close to a November peak during France's second wave of the virus, though well below a high of about 7,000 in April last year.

Reuters March 29, 2021 02:10:22 IST
Doctors issue warning over rise in French COVID-19 intensive care patients

Doctors issue warning over rise in French COVID19 intensive care patients

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of COVID-19 patients in France's intensive care units has risen to a new high for this year, health ministry data showed on Sunday, as doctors warned a third wave of infections could soon overwhelm hospitals.

There were 4,872 ICU patients being treated for COVID-19, close to a November peak during France's second wave of the virus, though well below a high of about 7,000 in April last year. The number of new infections fell, however, by around 5,600 to 37,014.

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 targeting high-infection zones like Paris are inadequate faced with fast-spreading coronavirus variants.

French President Emmanuel Macron this week defended his decision to not impose a third full lockdown and to keep schools open, but said further restrictions would probably be needed.

The government is also trying to speed up a lagging vaccination campaign, part of a troubled EU effort marred by shortfalls of AstraZeneca doses that have created tensions with former EU member Britain.

Junior European affairs minister Clement Beaune told France 2 television on Sunday that France would receive 2 million doses out of a batch of 16 million AstraZeneca vaccines held by the Italian authorities amid the EU's row with the pharmaceutical group.

As of Sunday, nearly 7.8 million people had received a first dose of vaccine in France, the health ministry said.

It also reported a further 131 hospital deaths linked to the virus, taking the country's toll including nursing homes to nearly 95,000, the eighth-highest in the world.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Gilles Guillaume; editing by Jane Merriman and Philippa Fletcher)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.