Key indicators for the French health system's ability to cope with the Covid-19 virus epidemic have shown a downtrend for four to five weeks, with official figures of deaths from the infection over the 24 hours since Friday down by eight at 96, and a continuing downward trend of hospitalisations – at 19,432 – and those in intensive care, at 2,132 – after respective peaks of more than 32,000 and over 7,000 in mid-April.
Three days after the lifting of total lockdown measures in France, the health ministry reported deaths from the Covid-19 virus had tumbled over the 24 hours up to Wednesday evening, at 83 against 348 the previous day, while patients in intensive care for the infection fell by 114 to 2,428, and total hospitalisations for the disease continued a downward trend at 21,071.
Crowds of mostly young people in Paris gathered together with drinks and without masks at sites beside the River Seine and the Saint-Martin canal to celebrate the end on Monday of the lockdown on public movement, prompting the capital's police prefect to ban alcohol consumption at the locations for fear of a spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Official figures released on Monday evening reported 263 deaths in France from the Covid-19 coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, compared with 70 registered over the previous day on Sunday, with 22,284 people infected with the virus hospitalised, while the numbers of intensive care patients were reported to have fallen by 64.
Infectious disease expert Didier Sicard on lessons of the virus crisis and the need to re-think healthcare policy
A leading specialist in infectious diseases, French doctor Didier Sicard was for many years head of internal medicine at the Cochin public hospital in Paris, helped establish the Pasteur Institute’s branch in Laos, south-east Asia, and served for eight years as head of France’s national bioethics advisory committee. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, he offers his insight into the current Covid-19 virus pandemic – a phenomenon he warned against long ago – including the perpetuating root causes of the crisis, the action needed to avoid a recurrence, why medicine can only be effective if it encompasses a wide view of society, and how public health policy has lost sight of its fundamental missions.
Ahead of the country's lifting of lockdown on public movement on Monday, France on Saturday recorded the lowest 24-hour toll of deaths from the coronavirus epidemic since early April, with 80 fatalities, while patients infected with the disease treated in intensive care in hospitals also continued to fall, although new hospital admissions numbered 265 on Friday.
Official French health ministry figures released on Friday evening reported deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic had risen over the past 24 hours by 243, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country from the epidemic to 26,230, while the number of people being treated in hospital for the infection fell to 22,724, confirming a three-week downward trend since an April 14th peak of 32,292.
In face of the Covid-19 virus crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron has failed in his mission, presiding over disorder, a sore lack of means to fight the epidemic and a ‘communications’ campaign of lies, argues Mediapart publishing editor and co-founder Edwy Plenel. In this op-ed article, he urges the dismissal of an antiquated presidential system and the establishment of a truly democratic republic in France.
A fishmonger treated for pneumonia symptoms in a Paris suburban hospital in late December 2019 has been found to have in fact been suffering from Covid-19 virus infection, according to a French medical study, suggesting the virus was circulating well before the first officially announced cases in France on January 24th.
After several days of decline, the toll of deaths of people in French hospitals and care homes attributed to the Covid-19 virus reached 25,201 according to official figures released on Monday evening, an increase of 306 over the past 24 hours, but patients in intensive care with the disease had fallen to 3,696, the lowest since March 26th.
The claim by a French doctor Yves Cohen came as France reported a further 135 Covid-19 deaths.
The number of people who died of coronavirus infection in France increased by 166 to 24,760 on Saturday.
New quarantine rules to be included in a decree specifying measures laid out in a bill extending a state of emergency until July 24, a move that allows the government to restrict freedom of movement.
An investigation by Mediapart has shown how a lack of doctors has been a contributory factor in the major problems faced in many of France's care homes during the coronavirus epidemic, with medical staff themselves falling ill to the virus. In some cases replacement doctors were turned away from care homes because of the apparent risk of spreading the disease, and death certificates have been signed remotely by doctors who have not physically examined the deceased. In the Paris region in particular the problems were compounded because the health authority took too long to realise the scale of the problem in nursing homes and how many people were dying in them. It was then slow to react to the situation, to the frustration and anger of both healthcare professionals and the relatives of those who died. Mathilde Goanec and Pascale Pascariello report.
French president said ending the national lockdown on May 11 would only be first step for France to pull out of coronavirus crisis, for which his handling faces mounting criticism.