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HEALTH

MAP: Which regions of France are most affected by coronavirus?

LATEST: The number of coronavirus cases in France continues to rise although some regions are more affected than others. This map gives an idea of how the outbreak has affected different parts of France.

MAP: Which regions of France are most affected by coronavirus?
Photo: AFP

This article is no longer being updated as detailed regional figures are no longer being produced. Click here for a look at which areas' health systems are the worst affected.

 

 

France has reported more than 11,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with the numbers steadily rising each day, the death toll continues to rise with over 370 deaths as of Friday, March 20th.

The focal point for the outbreak in France was the Oise département in the northern region of Hauts-de-France.

The greater Paris region of Île-de-France now have close to 3,500 confirmed cases. Authorities stated in the beginning that many of these cases are patients linked to the outbreak in the Oise département, who had been transferred to specialist hospitals in the Paris region. However the spread has now become much more severe.

For the latest information on the situation in France, click here

All the mainland regions of France have more than 100 confirmed cases, with many closer to 1,000 or more.

Overseas territories: Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthélémy, Saint-Martin, Guyane, Martinique, Mayotte and La Réunion have all seen cases of the virus.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus in France – How worried should you be?

The figures used for the map are the latest, published by France's national health body Santé Publique France on March 20th.

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And how is the situation in Europe?
 

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HEALTH

Carte vitale: France to adopt a new ‘biometric’ health card

The French parliament has approved a €20 million project to launch a 'biometric' version of the carte vitale health insurance card.

Carte vitale: France to adopt a new 'biometric' health card

As part of the French government’s package of financial aid for the cost-of-living crisis, €20 million will be set set aside to launch a biometric health card, after an amendment proposed by senators was approved.

Right-wing senators made this measure a “condition” of their support for the financial aid package, according to French left-wing daily Libération, and on Thursday the measure was approved by the Assemblée nationale.

While it sounds quite high tech, the idea is relatively simple, according to centre-right MP Thibault Bazin: the carte vitale would be equipped with a chip that “contains physical characteristics of the insured, such as their fingerprints” which would allow healthcare providers to identify them.

The carte vitale is the card that allows anyone registered in the French health system to be reimbursed for medical costs such as doctor’s appointments, medical procedures and prescriptions. The card is linked to the patient’s bank account so that costs are reimbursed directly into the bank account, usually within a couple of days.

READ ALSO How a carte vitale works and how to get one

According to the centre-right Les Républicains group, the reason for having a ‘biometric’ carte vitale is to fight against welfare fraud.

They say this would have two functions; firstly the biometric data would ensure the card could only be used by the holder, and secondly the chip would allow for instant deactivation if the card was lost of stolen.

Support for the biometric carte vitale has mostly been concentrated with right-wing representatives, however, opponants say that the implementation of the tool would be costly and lengthy.

It would involve replacing at least 65 million cards across France and repurposing them with biometric chips, in addition to taking fingerprints for all people concerned.

Additionally, all healthcare professionals would have to join the new system and be equipped with devices capable of reading fingerprints. 

Left-leaning representatives have also voiced concerns regarding the protection of personal data and whether plans would comply with European regulations for protecting personal data, as the creation of ‘biometric’ carte vitales would inevitably lead to the creation of a centralised biometric database. Additionally, there are concerns regarding whether this sensitive personal information could be exposed to cybercrime, as the health insurance system in France has been targeted by hackers in the past.

Finally, there is concern that the amount of financial loss represented by carte vitale fraud has been overestimated. The true figures are difficult to establish, but fraud related to carte vitale use is only a small part of general welfare fraud, which also covers unemployment benefits and other government subsidy schemes.

The scheme is set to begin in the autumn, but there us no information on how this will be done, and whether the biometric chip will just be added to new cards, or whether existing cards will be replaced with new ones. 

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