The surge is not entirely due to increased testing; as authorities say they perform 1 million Covid tests per week, the number of positive results has risen to 6.5%. On August 14, it was 2.4%.
Another indicator is the increase in admissions to hospital and intensive care: the French health authority reports an “exponential” increase in the number of new patients requiring emergency treatment.
In Paris, declared an “enhanced alert” zone on Wednesday, regional hospital authorities warned that 20% of surgeries should be postponed from this weekend because hospitals “were approaching saturation” of coronavirus cases.
Last week, Martin Hirsch, the head of the Paris hospital administration, said establishments had hoped that delays in surgery for non-Covid patients could be avoided for now.
“What we want to avoid is saturation and postponement of surgery,” he said. However, he admitted that if new cases continued to rise – as they did – it would become inevitable.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex appeared on television on Thursday to warn the country that the situation was worsening and the population must adhere to health and protection measures to avoid a return to the worst days of the epidemic in spring.
In its weekly report, Santé Publique France said in week 38, September 14-20, that there was a 25% increase in new deaths attributed to Covid-19 in hospitals and nursing homes. . The number of new hospital admissions increased by 34% and new intensive care admissions by 40%.
In mainland France, 45 departments are above the number of confirmed cases of 50 per 100,000 inhabitants and 16 above 100/100,000 inhabitants. In Paris, the number of confirmed contaminations had reached 217/100 000.
There has been an increase in the virus among the 65 and over age group, while an examination of Covid-19 clusters showed most were in workplaces, followed by schools and universities and public and private events and gatherings.
All indicators in the report showed the curves were going up again.
Despite the worsening of the situation, the government’s decision to order the closure of bars and restaurants in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, deemed to be a “maximum alert” zone, continues to provoke the anger of local officials on Saturday. owners of bars and restaurants.
In a television interview Thursday evening, Castex pledged financial compensation for businesses forced to shut down but said the measure was necessary to stop the spread of the virus.
Bars in Paris and several other large cities where the virus is circulating and where hospitals are under increasing pressure, have been ordered to close at 10 p.m. from Monday.
The start of the Roland-Garros tennis tournament will take place on Sunday, but the number of spectators will be limited to 1,000, in accordance with Covid rules on other sporting events and public gatherings.
The number of deaths in France attributed to Covid-19 is now 31,511, an increase of 52 in the last 24 hours, according to official figures.