Health workers in France go on strike as coronavirus cases rise

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                Plusieurs centaines d'agents de santé sont descendus dans les rues de Paris jeudi après-midi pour protester contre les conditions dans les hôpitaux français, alors que le nombre de nouveaux cas de coronavirus augmente à travers le pays.
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                                    <p>Des médecins, des infirmières et d'autres agents de santé - le visage couvert de masques médicaux - ont agité des banderoles et des drapeaux alors qu'ils marchaient du monument des Invalides de la ville au ministère de la Santé le 7 <em>arrondissement</em> (district).

Demonstrations also took place in several other French cities, including Annecy, Besançon, Saint-Étienne and Rennes.

With rising infection rates and rapid filling of intensive care unit (ICU) beds, health workers are demanding better wages, better working conditions, and the hiring of additional staff to meet the demands of the community. ‘epidemic.

“Hospitals and other public institutions have collapsed under exponential activity since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, without the necessary human and physical resources,” said the General Confederation of Labor for Health and Social Work (CGT Health and Social Action) said the union.

In the last week alone, the number of hospitalizations for coronavirus has increased in France by 6,529, according to the latest figures from the government agency France Santé publique (Public Health France) – with 1,750 new patients admitted to the country’s ICUs.

“Our caregivers are exhausted”

Thursday’s protests came a day after President Emmanuel Macron announced a number of new restrictions to contain the spread of the virus – including a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in Paris and eight other hot spots – while recognizing the increasing pressure on the country’s health services.

“The virus is now everywhere in France… Our caregivers are exhausted, which is understandable because they were on the front line during the first wave, then had to postpone all other care during the summer, and there is this second wave Macron said in an interview. on national television. “Therefore, we have no spare beds, no hidden beds. That is why we must take the strictest measures to regain full control. ”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jean Castex ad Thursday that the government planned to accelerate its timetable to introduce the second half of a monthly salary increase of € 183 for health workers from March 2021 to “before the end of the year”.

He added that any staff member who postpones their intention to leave during All Saint’s vacation next week would also receive a bonus of € 110-200 per day.

Yet for the hundreds of health workers who demonstrated across the country on Thursday, the government’s efforts are not enough.

“The situation in hospitals is even worse than the first wave, the emergency services are overloaded,” Lionel le Plagneul, a medical representative who took part in protests in the city of Rennes, told AFP. west of the country.

In total, there are currently a total of 809,684 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France, making it the country with the second highest infection rate in Europe, behind Spain.

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