In Paris and the surrounding area, two thirds of all IC beds are now occupied by corona patients. “At the beginning of last week, 35 new patients a day were added to the ICU. At the end of last week there were 80 new patients a day,” said Aurélien Rousseau, director of the regional health service.
According to President Macron’s scientific advisory board, those numbers don’t yet show the whole picture. The council estimates that if you count untested and people without symptoms, about 100,000 French people become infected per day: twice as much as the official figure.
Curfew or lockdown?
According to the scientists, the situation is ‘critical’. It is getting worse than expected and many French people are hardly aware of what is coming their way. “We can do two things,” said Council President Jean-François Delfraissy this morning. “Either we extend the curfew, to more areas, to more hours or to the weekend. Or we decide on a lockdown right away, which may not have to be as strict as the last.”
The French government has always opposed a second nationwide lockdown after the first one introduced in mid-March. The economic damage would be too great. Employers’ association Medef says that “the French economy would collapse” with a complete new lockdown.
Moreover, the question is whether such a measure would be accepted by the French. “We have to find a balance between the health of the French and the running of businesses, schools and cultural life,” said Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne.
In recent months, therefore, limited and local measures have been taken, such as closing the catering industry. There was also a curfew in several places. People are no longer allowed on the street from 9 pm to 6 am. This measure now affects 46 million French, that is about two thirds of the population.
But the virus continues to spread further for the time being. “It is war”, said Chairman Pierre-Jean Ternamian of doctors association URPS. “With more than 40,000 new infections per day and a death rate of 0.5 percent, we will be dealing with 200 deaths per day in three weeks.”