Head of Paris ICU warns of 'infernal' month ahead for hospitals

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The head of an intensive care unit at a Paris hospital said on Wednesday the next month would be “infernal” for French hospitals due to a spike in coronavirus cases amid the country’s third wave. 

Jean-Francois Timsit of Bichat–Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris told France Inter radio that whatever the country does, those infected this month will soon need to be hospitalized, leading to overcrowding, according to Reuters. 

Around a third of the country locked down for the third time on Saturday as cases spiked spurred on by variants, according to France 24. 

French President Emmanuel Macron talks to elderly people after they received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination center of Valenciennes, northern France, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The French government has backed off from ordering a tough lockdown for Paris and several other regions despite an increasingly alarming situation at hospitals with a rise in the number of COVID-19 patients. (Yoan Valat/Pool Photo via AP)

The term lockdown, which was used by Prime Minister Jean Castex, has led to confusion in the country, however, with President Emmanuel Macron and others objecting to the wording. 

Health Minister Olivier Véran said, “We aren’t stopping people from going outside, we are limiting gatherings indoors. Walking in a park, riding a bike … We need those [activities] so we don’t crack. The new measures bridge the gap between physical and mental health as the pandemic persists.” 

“We want to put the brakes on the virus without locking ourselves away, without being confined,” Macron said Friday. “We have to learn to live with [the virus]; I’ve been saying this for a year,” France 24 reported. 

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