A third Nationwide Lockdown Appears Probably in France as Hospitals Are Overwhelmed

PARIS — Greater than a yr after the federal government in France ordered its first nationwide lockdown to combat again the Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities now appear to have little selection however to do the identical once more, as infections rise sharply across the country and hospitals in Paris are overflowing.

President Emmanuel Macron will handle the nation at eight p.m. on Wednesday and is anticipated to announce new restrictions, probably bringing in a 3rd nationwide lockdown, which he has long tried to avoid.

France on Tuesday reported greater than 5,000 folks in intensive care items for the primary time since final April, with mattress shortages in hospitals in probably the most affected areas changing into acute. And the gradual vaccine rollout has not prevented an outburst of infections, as a median of about 37,000 every day new circumstances have been reported over the previous week.

“The outlook is worse than scary,” Jean-Michel Constantin, the pinnacle of the intensive care unit on the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, told RMC radio on Monday.

“We’re already on the degree of the second wave and we’re shortly getting near the edge of the primary wave,” he stated. “April goes to be dreadful.”

New restrictions were introduced on the regional level in mid-March in an try and stave off a 3rd wave of infections, affecting a couple of third of the inhabitants, together with the Paris area. The principles pressured companies which might be thought of nonessential to shut, ordered residents to restrict their out of doors actions to locations inside six miles of their properties and banned journey to or from areas the place infections had been rising.

However as infections nonetheless stubbornly rose, strain has been constructing on Mr. Macron to implement harder measures.

Writing in Le Journal du Dimanche, 41 medical doctors from the Paris area warned that hospitals may soon become so stretched that they should select which sufferers to attempt to save.

“All indicators present that the present measures are and shall be inadequate to shortly reverse the alarming curve of contaminations,” they wrote.

Mr. Macron, in the same newspaper, stated that he would “have a look at the effectiveness of the containment measures within the coming days, and we’ll take others if they’re mandatory.”

In late January, Mr. Macron made a calculated gamble of resisting a brand new nationwide lockdown, hoping that his authorities may tighten restrictions simply sufficient to combat again an increase in infections.

That technique appeared to be working till mid-March, when infections rose sharply and the vaccination marketing campaign failed to collect velocity, amid the disarray of the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Many medical doctors and epidemiologists are calling for a lockdown corresponding to that of early 2020, when the authorities enforced some of the strictest Covid-19 restrictions in Europe, ordering folks to remain inside aside from just a few exceptions. Colleges, which France has saved open since final June, not like lots of its neighbors, may be pressured to shut because the virus is more and more spreading in lecture rooms.

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