Number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in France eases
PARIS (Reuters) – The number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 in France has fallen by 20 to 4,219, health ministry data showed on Wednesday, the first decline in nearly two weeks.
Earlier in the day, however, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said tougher restrictions will be imposed in some regions including Paris from this weekend to counter an accelerating spread of COVID-19 infections.
The number of patients in intensive care (ICU) is closely watched by the government as it is the ultimate measure of the country’s ability to deal with the viral pandemic.
The Ile-de-France region around Paris, which had 1,177 people in ICU on Tuesday, is under heavy pressure and had to evacuate patients to emergency wards elsewhere in the country over the past weekend.
The government is set to detail new restrictive measures against contagion on Thursday evening. They could take the form of partial lockdowns such as the weekend lockdowns already imposed – on top of a nationwide nightly curfew – along parts of the Mediterranean Riviera and some areas of the north.
“We will take pragmatic and regionalised decisions,” President Emmanuel Macron told health workers during a hospital visit on Wednesday.
During France’s second nationwide lockdown in November, the number of people in ICU peaked at 4,919, on Nov. 16.
During the first lockdown in March-April 2020, France had more than 5,000 people in ICU for 25 consecutive days, more than 6,000 for 17 consecutive days, and a peak of over 7,000 for nearly a week early April 2020.
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