SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Coronavirus death toll in France passes 6,500 after elderly care homes report hundreds more fatalities

French health authorities on Friday confirmed that a total of 5,091 people had died in the country's hospitals and at least 1,416 in elderly care homes since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. Friday's one-day death toll of 588 in hospitals was its highest to date.

Coronavirus death toll in France passes 6,500 after elderly care homes report hundreds more fatalities
Photo: AFP

A total of 588 new fatalities in hospitals were recorded in the last 24 hours, said France's Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon on Friday evening – the highest single number of hospital deaths registered since the beginning of the epidemic. 

Salomon said the number of people who had died from the coronavirus in the country's elderly care homes (Ehpads) has risen to 1,416 since the beginning of the epidemic. That number has risen from 884 after additional reports from Ehpad homes across the country. 

Sixty-six percent of France's Ehpad nursing homes have now provided number of coronavirus fatalities in their homes, Salomon said. 

Until as late as Thursday, France's daily coronavirus death tolls only included hospitals fatalities.

The government has stressed that these numbers only gave a partial picture of the total situation given that nursing homes, particularly in the east of the country, had been hard hit by the outbreak of the virus.

The total number of people in intensive care also increased by 263, from 6,399 on Thursday to 6,662 on Friday. That compares to a rise of 382 in Intensive care admissions from Wednesday to Thursday and a rise of 452 from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The number of patients in intensive care is a key indicator for monitoring the progression of the epidemic curve.

Salomon said that while the number of people in intensive care was still growing day by day, the rate of that growth had slowed down this week. 

ANALYSIS: When will the coronavirus epidemic peak in France?

Of the 6,662 intensive care patients, 35 percent were aged less than 60, while 93 people were aged less than 30 years old.

“There has never been so many critically ill people in France at the same time for one illness,” Salomon said.

The large numbers of patients in critical conditions needing intensive care treatment has put massive strain on hospitals, particularly in the worst hit areas in eastern France and the greater Paris Île-de-France region.

At the beginning of the epidemic, France had just 5,000 intensive care beds in total. This has now been increased to 9,000 with a target to increase again to 14,000.

“We have transformed all sectors of the hospital to an intensive care unit,” said Célestin-Alexis Agbessi, a doctor at the Bichat Hospital in the 18th arrondissement in Paris.
 
Hospital Bichat is one of the French hospitals that has seen its capacities overwhelmed by the surge in new coronavirus patiens.

The government has increased efforts to transfer patients between regions to ease pressure on the hardest hit areas. By Friday, 506 people had been transferred to less affected areas in the country and abroad.

IN NUMBERS: The mass evacuation of coronavirus patients from France's overwhelmed hospitals

 

 

 

A total of 27,432 people were hospitalised for the coronavirus on Friday, Salomon said – up from 26,246 on Thursday. 

At the same time, the number of recovered people had risen from 12,428 to 14,008 in one day.

“Stay at home if you want to save lives,” Salomon reiterated, as the government on Friday had reminded the country's inhabitants that extra police roadblocks would be set up to prevent people going on planned Easter trips.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS