With 30,702 new COVID-19 cases, France is on the brink of nationwide lockdown

  • 188 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in a single day in France
  • 95,337 people have died of coronavirus since the start of the outbreak in France
  • France’s national hospital system is nearing the breaking point

French health authorities released the latest coronavirus data today, showing that the national hospital system is nearing the breaking point and a nationwide lockdown is pretty much on the cards.

The country registered 30,702 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, pushing the total national count above 4.5 million.

In a single day, 188 people have been hospitalized, bringing the total to 28,510. COVID-19 patients currently occupy 5,072 resuscitation beds, the largest number since mid-November 2020, when the country entered its second confinement.

A total of 95,337 people have died of coronavirus since the start of the outbreak. The death toll was 360 on Monday and 381 on Tuesday.

Unlike its European neighbors, France has refrained from imposing a third full lockdown and kept schools open, but a night-time curfew has been in force since January 16.

In the country’s high risk zones, non-essential shops are closed, people are asked to work from home and travel to other regions is banned.

“We have to limit the spread of the virus and we won’t do that with these half-measures,” Gilles Pialoux, head of infectious diseases at the Tenon hospital in Paris, said.

“Braking measures have almost no effect,” he said. “Since January, the political decisions have no scientific consistency.”

On Sunday, 41 hospital doctors in the Paris region signed an article that appeared in the weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, saying that they would be forced to choose between patients for emergency treatment due to overwhelmed hospitals.

Speaking at the National Assembly earlier in the day, Health Minister Olivier Veran pledged to “not let doctors be in a situation where they have to choose among patients.”

“The measures taken ten days ago might start to show their effect, we will see that within 24-48 hours. If necessary, we would decide other measures to protect the French people,” he said.

President Emmanuel Macron will chair a Defense Council meeting on the epidemic situation on Wednesday to decide on new restrictions.

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