top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Covid-19 France: April will be worse, says PM

Covid-19: The first two weeks of April will be more difficult than the weeks we have just been through

This is the message given by the prime minister of France in a public address this afternoon.

"We are doubling the number of positive cases [of covid-19] every three to four days, so it's a very fast pace.

"We are a few days behind Italy and after Spain in epidemic levels (...), the curves are quite similar.

"The progression is rapid and it's happening at a very consistent rate," said Edouard Philippe.

He said that before this epidemic began, there were 5,000 resuscitation beds throughout France and that maximum efforts had been undertaken to increase this number.

"If the epidemic develops across France, as time goes on, the severe forms will increase and become more and more numerous. (...) We have made every effort to increase our capacity in the intensive care units," he added.

"The second strategy is to flatten the curve so that there are fewer severe cases."

Dr Karine Lacombe, a specialist in infectious diseases and head of department at the Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, also attended the press conference and gave an update on what is known about the disease, including the fact that the virus is contagious while the carriers are asymptomatic.

"There are many things we don't know, which leads us to be very humble," she said.

The head of the French health service Jérôme Salomon also spoke and reported that 44,000 people in France have consulted a local GP over symptoms of a coronavirus infection.

Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist at the Pasteur Institute, said: "For people who are sick with Covid-19, in the absence of control measures, each patient will infect 3 people. With control measures [barrier and social distancing measures], [this figure] can be lowered. We want to bring it below one. If each patient infects less than one person, the epidemic will decline.

"To estimate the impact, we're going to have to wait a little bit, ... hopefully by the end of next week."

France's Health Minister Olivier Véran spoke about resuscitation resources, saying France's capacity was 5,000 beds but that this has been increased to 10,000. "Now we want to reach 14,000 - 14,500 beds," he added.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now