“It is possible that the second wave is worse than the first,” he said, warning of a “formidable” challenge ahead.
France on Thursday reported a daily record of 41,622 new cases, and the number of patients in intensive care is at its highest level since May.
Thursday’s figure of 165 deaths in 24 hours is still well below April’s peak, when the death toll climbed to more than 900 a day.
– ‘Without knowing’ –
Prime Minister Jean Castex admitted that hospitals are likely to come under pressure.
“Today’s new cases are tomorrow’s hospital patients. November will be difficult, ”he wrote on Twitter.
Hirsch said the average age of ICU patients at AP-HP hospitals is 62.
Many were elderly people who went into isolation but became infected when their children visited them.
And Hirsch said the actual number of cases was likely much higher than the official figures, as many asymptomatic carriers are never tested.
“There are a lot of positive, contagious people on the streets without knowing it and without anyone else knowing it,” he said.
Hirsch said some hospital workers’ leave was canceled before “that frightening November”.
– ‘Not easier’ –
The Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, declared that France was now able to increase its capacity to treat patients in intensive care by more than 2000 beds “in 15 days”.
“We are now that the curfew measures will no longer have an impact for two or three weeks, which in the current period is a life”, told AFP Lamine Gharbi, president of the French federation of FHP private hospitals.
Private clinics, which typically treat just under a third of all critical care Covid cases in France at some point, have had to cancel scheduled operations unrelated to the coronavirus to make room for virus cases, Gharbi said.
Some hospitals have had to cancel time off their staff had planned to take during the current mid-term school break.
The Paris region reported on Friday that just under two-thirds of its intensive care spaces were now occupied by Covid patients.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” said an anesthesiologist in an intensive care unit at a Paris hospital.
This story was posted from an agency feed with no text editing.