Paris: New Covid patient in intensive care every 12 minutes

As cases rise hospitals are being asked to increase capacity and ‘significant’ numbers of patients are to be transferred to other regions

12 March 2021
By Joanna York

The health minister has said he is “particularly worried” about the rise in Covid-19 cases in the Ile-de-France, as one patient is being admitted to intensive care every 12 minutes.

Operations have already been cancelled to help free up space for Covid patients in hospitals in the region and patient transfers to other regions are also planned.

Speaking at a press conference on March 11, Health Minister Olivier Véran said 1,080 patients were currently in intensive care in Ile-de-France, which is “almost equivalent to numbers at the peak of the second wave”.

Figures from March 11 show that 115 patients were admitted to intensive care in the previous 24 hours in the region.

94% of intensive care beds available before the pandemic are currently occupied.

Patients numbers approaching critical level

The health minister said if admissions continue at the same pace, the number of Covid patients in intensive care wards would reach a “critical threshold” of 1,500 by the end of March.

While a weekend lockdown has not been enforced in the French capital - as it has in three other areas in France - Mr Véran said if the virus continued at its current pace, the government would “take all measures necessary” to stop the spread.

Patients in Ile-de-France currently account for over a quarter of all intensive care patients nationally.

Covid: Why does Paris not have a weekend lockdown?

Operations cancelled; patients to be moved

The health minister said regional health authority the ARS was mobilising public and private hospitals in the region to increase intensive care capacity.

This has been helped by 40% of operations being cancelled in hospitals in Ile-de-France this week.

Plans are also underway to transfer “significant” numbers of patients to other regions, which could happen by the end of this week.

The health minister said: “We are talking about tens if not hundreds of patients that could be evacuated from Ile-de-France to other hospitals in other regions around France.” 

The health minister said Ile-de-France was one of three regions in which the health situation was particularly concerning. 

The other two regions were Hauts-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

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