Keyword: Protective masks

Covid-19: the chaos and blunders behind the mask shortages in France

By , , and mélanie delattre
In dire need and short supply: protective face masks. © Nicolas Liponne/Hans Lucas In dire need and short supply: protective face masks. © Nicolas Liponne/Hans Lucas

In a televised address on Monday evening when he announced the lockdown on public movement to contain the Covid-19 virus epidemic is now extended into May, French President Emmanuel Macron admitted “our country was not sufficiently ready for this crisis”. But while the unpreparedness can be traced back to its predecessors, the French government has failed with its strategy for the urgent procurement of a vital piece of equipment that frontline healthcare staff sorely lack: protective masks. In this second investigation into the fiasco, Mediapart details the blunders that continue to place healthcare workers in danger, and how the business world has been more effectively provided for than hospitals.

Proof of French government's lies over shortages of protective masks

President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to a Covid-19 field hospital at Mulhouse in eastern France on March 25th 2020. © AFP President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to a Covid-19 field hospital at Mulhouse in eastern France on March 25th 2020. © AFP

An investigation by Mediapart has revealed the chaotic management at the highest levels of the French state over the crucial issue of providing protective masks to help tackle the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Our probe, which has analysed the situation since January and is based on numerous witness accounts and documentary evidence, highlights the hidden shortages, the unreliable health instructions, the neglected offers of help with importing masks, the continuing shortage of stocks and the way that some companies have been favoured. It also reveals the lies that have accompanied this mismanagement. Meanwhile hundreds of nurses have become infected with the virus. Yann Philippin, Antton Rouget and Marine Turchi report.