France adds Montpellier and Toulouse to cities on alert as Covid-19 cases skyrocket

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                Les villes du sud de la France, Toulouse et Montpellier, ont rejoint cette semaine Paris, Marseille et quatre autres villes en état d'alerte maximal pour lutter contre le coronavirus alors que les cas de Covid-19 en France ont atteint un niveau record ce week-end. 
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                                    <p>La préfecture de Montpellier, dans le sud, a annoncé un statut d'alerte maximal pour la ville et les communes environnantes à partir de mardi dans le but d'enrayer la propagation du coronavirus.  Les mesures comprennent la fermeture de cafés et de bars.  La ville sud-ouest de Toulouse faisait de même suite à des réunions entre les maires des villes environnantes et le préfet, l'autorité locale de l'Etat.

The surge in infections and the increase in hospitalizations placed four other cities on the high alert list on Saturday: Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne in the south-east and Lille in the north.

It comes as French health authorities reported nearly 26,900 new daily infections on Saturday in 24 hours. The count fell to 16,100 on Sunday, but the rate of positive tests soared to 11.5%. There were almost 5,100 new hospitalizations over the past week, with 910 people in ICUs. As of Sunday, there were 32,730 deaths linked to Covid-19, but the actual number is likely higher due to deaths at home and incomplete reports from hospitals or nursing homes.

Nurses feel impact on working conditions

As France braced for an increase in critical figures, a consultation with the National Order of Nurses published on Sunday suggested that a significant number of those polled are feeling tired and fed up, with 37% saying the coronavirus pandemic to them. makes you want to change jobs.

Nearly 59,400 nurses responded to the internal survey from October 2 to 7 on the impact of the health crisis on their working conditions, out of 350,000 in the Order of Nurses. A spokesperson for the order, Adrien de Casabianca, described the investigation as a “consultation” without the classic methodology of a poll.

The figures suggest that French medical institutions may not keep pace with growing needs, despite lessons learned from the height of the viral crisis last spring.

The National Order of Nurses notes that 34,000 nursing positions in France are currently vacant.

Nurses and other health professionals in France and elsewhere have sporadically demonstrated higher wages, better working conditions and more staff. They have benefited from small salary increases in France from this fall.

“Today, nurses must face an increase in Covid-19 cases and feel powerless to do so,” said the president of the National Order of Nurses, Patrick Chamboredon, in a statement accompanying the investigation .

With nurses “essential” to the functioning of the health system, “we cannot accept this,” he said.

High infection rates among the homeless

At the same time, a recent study found that 40% of the homeless in the Paris region had contracted Covid-19, prompting health workers to call on the government to provide more emergency shelter before the arrival of winter.

“This disease hits the underprivileged hard,” Jean-François Delfraissy, the head of the French scientific council, told RMC radio.

The study, carried out from June 23 to July 2 by the Institut Pasteur in collaboration with the NGOs Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Épicenter, used a sample of 818 people in 14 MSF centers – including two food distribution sites, two centers for migrant workers and 10 emergency accommodation centers located in Paris and its suburbs.

“We were surprised at the prevalence of the virus in some places,” Thomas Roederer, epidemiologist at Epicenter and co-author of the study, told FRANCE 24.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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