France prepares for January with overcrowded hospitals, facing simultaneous waves of Covid, flu and gastroenteritis cases. This warning was made by French Health Minister Olivier Veran, during an interview with France Inter radio, on Monday (3).
“The danger we face with omicron is the saturation of traditional hospital beds in our hospitals,” the French minister stated. “Omicron is less dangerous, causes fewer cases of acute respiratory distress, and the need for intensive care beds is lower compared to other variants. The minister explained that more sensitive patients may develop high fevers that require three or four days of oxygen, which increases the flow of patients to conventional beds. .
Last week, France set record numbers of new infections with Covid-19 and has the highest infection rate for the entire epidemic: 1,518 patients per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the latest report from the Santé Publique France agency. Transmission in the country occurs through two different types: the delta, the most dangerous, and the new strain, the Omicron. Several preliminary studies show that it causes less severe forms and primarily affects the upper respiratory tract.
Young men wearing masks to protect themselves from Covid-19 walk in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on December 21, 2021 – Photo: Michel Euler/AP
In the coming weeks, the 200,000 daily infections are expected to reverberate in hospitals, already facing an increase in cases of flu and gastroenteritis, as in the French winter.
The flu has started and more serious gastroenteritis cases have already arrived at the hospital. Patients with other chronic diseases also need treatment. Of the 400,000 beds we have in the country today, 20,000 are already being occupied by Covid patients even before we feel the impact of the Omicron wave,” Ferran said. “January will be a difficult month in hospitals.”
To reduce hospitalization caused by Covid-19, the French government is betting on vaccination and the application of the third dose, which does not prevent contamination but avoids moderate and severe forms. Since December, all adults can receive a booster dose, which can now be ordered three months after the second dose. At the end of the year, the campaign was also extended to children aged 5-11.
The French government also plans to increase pressure on the nearly 5 million French people over the age of 12 who have not yet been vaccinated.
From Monday, the National Assembly will begin voting on a bill aimed at making presentation of a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for entry to restaurants, bars, cinemas, gyms, gyms, trains or even hospitals. Submission of a negative test will no longer be accepted and the vaccination passport must include the third dose for those who have already taken the second more than four months ago.
Emmanuel Macron’s government aims to have the vaccination passport into effect on January 15. According to Government Deputy Yael Brown-Bevit, the certification will allow “the avoidance of further coercive measures”, such as new closures or the imposition of a curfew.
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