The president of the Ile-de-France region has warned that the capital is facing a “very violent third wave” of Covid-19, as the infection rate nears 400 cases per 100,000 people and ICU occupancy reaches 95.90 percent of capacity.
“The English variant, which has become the most prevalent, is not only more contagious, it is also more deadly” and “our resuscitation capacities are saturated,” Valérie Pécresse, president of Ile-de-France, the central region where Paris is located, told France 2 on Monday, as she discussed the capital’s dire healthcare situation.
Pécresse explained that her region was living “on borrowed time” and had to very seriously consider the prospect of “reconfining” the capital. “It is up to the government to decide” but “today, we can no longer exclude anything… in terms of responsibility. If the measures are justified, if they are proportionate and accompanied, I will not oppose them”, she added.
“I understand the immense weariness of all French people in the face of this never-ending pandemic, but we are the object of a very violent third wave which will take lives, and we must slow it down,” Pécresse stated, adding the central government should be increasing the speed of vaccinations in the most affected areas.
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Since mid-January, the country has been under a night-time curfew running from 6pm until 6am. However, its effectiveness has been called into question in recent weeks, with more than 20 regions of France placed under “reinforced surveillance” and new restrictions implemented over a rise in Covid-19 infection rates.
The infection rate in the Paris region has risen to 377 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, far higher than the national average of 217 and a maximum of 250 set by the government. Experts have warned that hospitals will soon no longer be able to provide other emergency services.
The French vaccination campaign has also stuttered amid supply challenges and delayed approvals by the European regulator.
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