Covid worsening in France, notably Bordeaux and Marseille

More than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in France in the past 24 hours, as health authorities confirm a “definite worsening of the situation”, especially in the south.

13 September 2020
Hospital beds lined up in a hospital. Covid ‘worsening’ in France, notably Bordeaux and MarseilleHospitals across France are opening up more bed capacity as the Covid-19 situation worsens, especially in the south
By Hannah Thompson

The most recent figures from health body Santé Publique France (SPF) on Saturday September 12 showed 10,561 new cases in 24 hours. There were 75 new hospitalisations, 28 new admissions to intensive care, and 17 more deaths.

Over the past week, there were 2,432 hospital admissions and 417 intensive care admissions, in total. The positivity level - the number of people who tested positive compared to the number of people tested in total - climbed from 4.4% last week to 5.2% this week.

The new figures represent a record in France since the start of the pandemic.

SPF said that it was seeing “a definite worsening of the situation” nationally.

It said: “if the dynamics of the epidemic remain as they are, the number of confirmed weekly cases will double in the next two weeks.”

Marseille on alert

Numbers are climbing especially rapidly in the south of the country, including in Bordeaux (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) and Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône).

The epidemic is spreading worst in the Bouches-du-Rhône, with 192 cases per 100,000 inhabitants - a rise of 27.5% in one week. The alert threshold is 50. This puts it ahead of Paris (143 cases per 100,000) and Gironde (154).

SPF said: “The level of hospitalisations and intensive care admissions remains moderate, but the rise in these indicators is worrying, especially in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.”

Hospitals in the region have opened extra beds to cope with increased demand.

The Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM) said: “In one week, the curve [of the epidemic progression] has been exponential and we have doubled our intensive care admissions.”

It added that most of the patients being hospitalised are aged 60 or over, with other existing conditions. “The same kind of people as the first wave...and while the situation is currently under control, it remains worrying. Mid-August, the level of positivity of tests being done was at 9%.

"Today, it is at 12.5%, and the number of people being tested has tripled.”


Bordeaux sees intensive care spike

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the number of patients being hospitalised for Covid-19 had almost doubled in 10 days, from 85 on August 31 to 147 on September 8.

The CHU hospital in Bordeaux said: “We currently have 25 patients with Covid in intensive care, when there were none at the beginning of August.”

The Ile-de-France region still has the highest number of people in hospital, with 2,442, of which 204 are in intensive care.

However, regional health body the Agence Régionale de Santé for the Ile-de-France said that there had been some good news: “For the first time in six weeks, the rise in the level of incidence has slowed down nationally, and also in every department, except the Val-d’Oise.”

Professor Dominique Rossi, president of the medical commission at AP-HM, called on the public to help improve the health situation.

Professor Rossi said: “There are ill people who need intensive care who do not have Covid. We must help these ill people too. For this, we have to avoid admitting too many people with Covid. You must help us, by using masks and barrier methods.”

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