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Saturday, 20 March 2021

France: Number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care hits record high


The Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units in French hospitals increased by 66 to 4,353, a new high in 2021. 


As the government aims to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus, nearly one-third of French people entered a month-long lockdown on Saturday. 


France used the AstraZeneca vaccine again, but only for those over 55, because the reported clot problem under study was only found in young people. 


To rest assured, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that he had received a jab from AstraZeneca on Friday. 


Castex has announced on Thursday a one-month lockdown of Paris and 15 other areas to combat the surge of Covid-19 cases, while insisting that the measure will not be as strict as in the past.



He said that although non-essential businesses will be closed and outdoor activities in the affected areas will be restricted, schools will remain open and allow outdoor activities no more than 10 kilometers away from home. 


Castex told reporters: "We are adopting a third method, which should allow braking (of the epidemic) without locking (people)." He said that these measures are due to the "third wave" of the virus that has led to an increase in Covid-19 cases. In the Paris area alone, about 1,200 people have received intensive care. 


Other regions affected by the new measures include the Haute-de-France region in northeastern France, which covers the city of Lille.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said that there are more intensive care units in the Paris area than during the second wave in November, and the capacity of hospitals is now saturated. 


Almost exactly a year ago, President Emmanuel Macron ordered France to implement its first national lockdown, one of the strictest in the world, followed by a second ''confinement'' at the end of October. 


As with previous locks, a form will need to be written out or downloaded to the phone to prove why someone has left home under the new restrictions. 


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