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HEALTH

IN PICTURES: France’s new military hospital for coronavirus patients

A military field hospital set up by the French army is now operational, seeking to take the pressure off intensive care units in an eastern region badly hit by the coronavirus.

IN PICTURES: France's new military hospital for coronavirus patients
All photos: AFP

The field hospital, a temporary structure of tents usually employed to assist the wounded in a war zone, has been erected in the eastern French city of Mulhouse where the intensive care unit of the main hospital has been overwhelmed by coronavirus cases.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told parliament that the field hospital could admit up to 30 patients in intensive care and had now already admitted its first patient.

Construction of the hospital began on Saturday in a parking lot next to the main hospital in Mulhouse. It will be reserved for severe coronavirus cases that need respiratory help.

The construction of such a facility, usually used in war, in mainland France during peacetime is unprecedented.

The Haut-Rhin region in eastern France where Mulhouse is located has been one of the worst hit in the country by the coronavirus, after many people were infected during an evangelical church meeting in the city in February.

In another hugely unusual move, France will on Wednesday use a specially set-up TGV high speed train to evacuate 30 coronavirus patients from the east to other parts of France, Health Minister Olivier Veran announced.

Smaller numbers have already been evacuated from the overwhelmed hospitals of the east by air to other locations in France and also over the border into Germany or Switzerland.

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LIVING IN FRANCE

Property taxes, food and tunnels: 6 essential articles on life in France

From tax hikes to the price of food, air conditioning and the unexpected things that lurk beneath the streets of Paris, here are 6 essential articles for life in France.

Property taxes, food and tunnels: 6 essential articles on life in France

As the inhabitants of Paris, one of Europe’s most densely populated cities, walk along the Champs-Elysées or Rue de Rivoli, they might be entirely unaware of the extensive underground world that exists below their feet.

Paris has a huge network of underground spaces that hide some very unexpected things (as well as the entirely prosaci Metro).

Skulls, beer and a ‘cathedral’: Discover the secrets of underground Paris

From cheese and garlic to berets and sex, taxes and striking, France is heavily loaded with cultural stereotypes – and most of them are only partly accurate.

This is us, busting more myths.

Myth-busting: Are these 12 clichés about France actually true?

France warned that companies might have to reduce energy this winter as Russian continues to reduce its gas supplies to Europe.

The government has already begun work on an energy-saving plan, with more measures to come in September.

And it’s not the only country thinking along these lines – from limits to heating and air conditioning to turning off the lights and taking off ties, here’s how countries around Europe are cutting their energy usage.

Air-con, lights and ties: How countries around Europe hope to avoid blackouts this winter

Although householders in France are relatively fortunate when it comes to rising bills, there is one notable exception.

Towns and villages across France have been raising property tax rates for second-home owners – with many areas voting for the maximum 60 percent increase.

Tax hikes of up to 60% for French second home owners

As we’ve stumbled onto money matters, let’s consider the cost of living. France has many temptations to woo visitors and foreign residents: its scenery, history, the lifestyle, the food and the drink.

While some things here are more expensive than elsewhere – we’re looking at you, second-hand car dealers – and the taxes are notoriously high, what about the cost of groceries and wine? How do they compare? We do something that looks a lot like crunching the numbers…

How expensive is food and drink in France?

But, enough of all that seriousness. It’s silly season, after all. Prominent French scientist Etienne Klein has had to apologise for claiming this was the latest astonishing picture taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, when it was – in fact …

French astronomer apologises for ‘stellar’ photo that was really . . . chorizo

Some people take things far too seriously.

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