Northern France calls for local lockdown as Covid cases rise

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Authorities in northern France call for local lockdown, as Covid-19 situation in Dunkirk is “worse than Nice” – days after Nice imposed local closures on weekends in the face of the increase the number of cases.
Yesterday in Dunkirk, in the North, the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants reached 901, against 653 last week.

Professor Philippe Froguel, from Lille University Hospital, declared: “The situation [in Dunkirk] is worse than in Nice.

A lockdown weekend for at least the next two weeks has been announced by the prefect of Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes due to a marked increase in cases of British variants in the region.

Read more: Covid: Lockdown the next two weekends for the Côte d’Azur

Talk to news service BFMTV, he declared that the number of cases was close “to the record of 1,000 views in Roubaix in October”.

The professor specifies that the area has experienced “a 40% increase in Covid-19 cases in one week”, unlike the stable figures observed over the same period in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Patrick Goldstein, head of emergency services for Samu in the North, declared: “The Dunkirk hospital has been under pressure for several days.

“To give you an idea of ​​the extent of this health crisis, since February 1, we have transferred more than 53 intensive care patients from Dunkirk hospital to other units. We will soon reach our limits. ”

The mayor of Dunkirk, Patrice Vergriete, called for a meeting with Prime Minister Jean Castex “to examine the health situation”.

In a report, he declared: “Dunkirk today deserves all the attention of the State, just like the region of Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes. Ten days ago, before the epidemic worsened, we offered the state a series of preventive measures that seemed appropriate to the situation.

“Our appeals were not heeded.”

Read more: Alert as the Covid UK variant reaches 70% in Dunkirk

But this week the Minister of Health Olivier Véran says that other regions of the country have justified “our full involvement”, and declared: “I am thinking above all of the north of France and the community of Dunkirk. I have met the mayor and will speak to him again today.

“There was also the particular situation in Moselle, not because of such a high level of incidence as this one, but because there, they had the South African variant. We are doing all we can to contain it. ”

François Grosdidier, the mayor of the administrative center of Moselle in Metz, had called for a new lockdown due to the spread of new variants in the region, but no such rule was introduced.

Read more: No local lockdown in Moselle despite the spread of Covid variants

‘Sound the same alarm’

This week, Professor Olivier Guérin, member of the government advisory body the Scientific Council, said news service FranceInfo: “It is possible that the Alpes-Maritimes model could be reproduced elsewhere.”

The professor, from the CHU hospital in Nice, declared: “I am thinking in particular of our colleagues from Dunkirk, who sound the same alarm as us.”

He explained that local lockdowns rather than nationwide measures were an effective way “to spare areas where the virus is not currently circulating, and not to saturate the health system”.

The professor also said he believes more vaccinations should be done in areas with higher levels of the virus.

In the meantime, Dunkirk is stepping up checks on compliance with existing rules, including the 6 p.m. curfew.

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