France is in the middle of the “second wave” and hospitals “at the tipping point”, warns the leader of the A&E union

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If the increase was “not the tidal wave that we saw in March”, the intensive care units are for the most part not yet saturated, “we feel that we have reached a point of tipping, ”he added, stressing that the hospitals of Paris and Montpellier have just reactivated their“ white plans ”of Covid emergency to free up beds.The worst could be avoided if people strictly respected social distancing and wearing masks, but emergency services “are expecting a complicated October,” he warned. “We are anything but serene.”

He said things got worse because some hospital departments were engaged in ‘turf wars’ over whether to cede more beds to Covid patients, as current doctrine was to continue with unrelated pre-planned treatment to the virus.

He warned that health workers who fought valiantly in March were again “exhausted and demoralized” as it appeared hospitals were struggling to recruit enough medical staff.

“I can’t understand why we haven’t learned the lessons in terms of hospital organization from the first wave,” he said.

Less alarmist, Aurélien Rousseau, head of the health agency for the Paris region, said that if “the levels of tension have reached maximum levels”, “we will not see a remake of the first wave, rather a second season of the epidemic ”.

On the plus side, patients were being treated better, less often hospitalized or placed on ventilators in intensive care and for shorter durations, he said. Hospitals will however be put to the test, because “there is no question of deprogramming non-Covid treatment”.

The infection rate in the French capital is now 160 per 100,000 inhabitants but the R level remains stable, he added.

About 20% of intensive care beds are now occupied by patients with Covid, he said.

Amid complaints of long wait times and huge queues for testing, he said Paris will open 20 more testing centers and mobile teams will pre-screen those queuing up with symptoms. or who had come into direct contact with an infected person.

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