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HEALTH

Coronavirus death toll in France nears 9,000 after 833 more fatalities recorded

France reported 833 new coronavirus fatalities on Monday, including a record 605 more deaths in hospitals in the last 24 hours. The total death toll since the beginning of the epidemic now stands at 8,911.

Coronavirus death toll in France nears 9,000 after 833 more fatalities recorded
Photo: AFP

 

Of the 833 new fatalities, 605 were hospital deaths since Sunday and 228 were deaths reported from the country's elderly care homes (known as Ehpads) since March 1st.

However the hospital number in itself was a new record of daily reported fatalities, surpassing Friday's 588.

It was France's Health Minister Olivier Véran who himself brought the sinister news after the country on Sunday saw its lowest daily death toll in a week (357), sparking hopes that the country had reached the peak of the epidemic curve.

“We have not reached the end of the ascent of this epidemic,” Véran said.

“It is not over. Far from that. The path is long. The figures that I have announced show this,” he said. “Stay at home and continue this confinement effort,” he added.

The overall death toll includes 6,494 patients who died in hospital (up from 5,889 on Sunday) and 2,417 in old age homes and other medical facilities (up from 2,189), Véran said.

“The protection of the country's most fragile is our absolute priority,” the health minister said, reminding the public that that not all Ehpads had reported their coronavirus death tolls yet so the true number of victims was likely higher.

Véran said the government would launch a “large scale operation” to test health workers and residents in the country’s Ehpads for the virus.

The total number of intensive care patients increased to 7,072 on Monday, up by 94 compared to the previous day.

That reflected the smallest jump in intensive care admissions since the lockdown began on March 17th and followed a trend in recent days of a slowing in the growth of patients in intensive care.

On Sunday the rise in the number of intensive care patients was 140, compared to 176 on Saturday, 263 on Friday and 382 on Thursday.

France's Health Minister Olivier Véran. Photo: AFP

 “We see that the confinement has a palpable impact. In France we are beginning to feel it,” said health minister Veran.

In total, 29,722 people in France were on Monday hospitalised for the coronavirus, including 831 new admissions in one day. 

Since the beginning of the epidemic, 17,250 people have successfully recovered and been discharged.

'The lockdown is saving lives'

France has been on national lockdown since March 17th in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the population. 

Véran said on Monday that the confinement (lockdown) was proving successful in the contamination rate. 

Before the lockdown, every person carrying the virus was expected to contaminate 2,5 other people. Now, the number had decreased to 1, Véran said.

If the number is under 1.0 it means the average victim infects less than one person, giving hope that the epidemic will end.

“The impact of the lockdown is visible in the areas where the virus is circulating actively,” Véran said.

“We are convinced that the lockdown is saving lives.”

He asked everyone to continue to respect lockdown rules and stay home.

 

 

 

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FRENCH BUREAUCRACY

Everything you need to know about your vital French ‘dossier’

It's a crucial part of life and an incomplete one can bring about a whole world of pain - here's what you need to know about your French dossier.

Everything you need to know about your vital French 'dossier'

The French word un dossier simply means a file – either in the physical sense of a plastic or cardboard item that holds documents together or the sense of a collection of documents. You might also hear civil servants use dossier to refer to the responsibilities they hold, as in English we might say their ‘brief’. 

But by far the most important use of dossier, particularly to foreigners in France, is its use to indicate the collection of documents that you must put together in order to complete vital administrative tasks, from registering in the health system to finding somewhere to live.

When you begin a new administrative process, you will need to put together a collection of documents in order to make your application. Exactly what you need varies depending on the process, but almost all dossiers will include;

  • Proof of ID – passport, birth certificate or residency card. If a birth certificate is required check carefully exactly what type of certificate is being asked for (and don’t freak out if they’re asking for a birth certificate no more than three months old, it doesn’t mean you have to be born again).

Birth certificate: Why you need it in France and how to request one

  • Proof of address – utility bills are usually the best, if you’re on paperless billing you can log into your online account with your power supplier and download an Attetstation de contrat which has your name and address on it and also acts as proof of address
  • Proof of financial means – depending on the process you might have to show proof of your income/financial means. This can include things like your last three months payslips or your most recent tax return. If you’re house-hunting you might be asked for your last three quittances de loyer – these are rent receipts and prove that you have been paying your rent on time. Landlords are legally obliged to provide these if you ask, but if you can’t find them or it’s a problem you can also ask your landlord to provide an attestatation de bon paiment – a certificate stating that you pay what you owe on time.

Paper v online

The traditional dossier is a bulging file full of papers, but increasingly administrative processes are moving online, so you may be able to simply upload the required documents instead of printing them all out. 

If you have to send physical copies of documents by mail, make sure you send them by lettre recommandée (registered mail), not only does it keep your precious documents safe, but some offices will only accept documents that arrive this way. 

If you’re able to send your dossier online, pay careful attention to the format specified for documents – usually documents like rental contracts or work contracts will be in Pdf format while for documents like a passport or residency card a jpeg (such as a photo taken on your phone) will suffice. If you’re sending photos of ID cards, residency cards or similar make sure you upload photos of both sides of the card.

If you need scanned documents there is no need to buy an expensive scanner – there are now numerous free phone apps that will do the job and allow you to photograph the documents with your phone’s camera and convert them to Pdf files.

Some French government sites are a little clunky and won’t accept large files – if you get an error message telling you that the file you are uploading is too big, you can resize it using a free online photo resizing tool. 

Payment

If the process requires payment (eg changing address on certain types of residency card or applying for citizenship) you may be asked for a timbre fiscale – find out how they work here

House-hunting

If you are looking for a property to rent you will need to compile a dossier and if you’re in one of the big cities – especially Paris – landlords or agencies usually won’t even grant you a viewing without seeing your dossier first, so it’s always best to compile this before you start scanning property adverts.

The government has put together a tool called Dossier Facile which allows you to upload all your house-hunting documents to a single site, have them checked and verified and then gives you a link to give to landlords and agencies, which makes the process a little simpler.

Find a full explanation of how it works here.

Attestations

For foreigners, especially new arrivals, it’s often a problem getting together all the documents required. It’s worth knowing that if you don’t have everything you need, you can sometimes substitute documents for an attestation sur l’honneur, which is a sworn statement. 

How to write a French attestation sur l’honneur

This is a legally valid document, with penalties for submitting a false one, and needs to be in French and written in a certain format – the French government website provides a template for the attestation.

Vocab

Déposer un dossier – submit your file

Pièce d’identitie – proof of ID eg passport, residency card

Acte de naissance – birth certificate. 

Copie intégral – a copy of the document such as a photocopy or scan

Extrait – a new version of the document, reissued by the issuing authority

Sans/ avec filiation – for birth certificates it might be specified that you need one avec filiation, which means it includes your parents’ details. Some countries issue as standard short-form birth certificates that don’t include this, so you will need to request a longer version of the certificate

Justificatif de domicile – proof of address eg recent utility bills. If you don’t have any bills in your name you can ask the person who either owns the property or pays the rent to write an attestation de domicile stating that you live there

Justificatif de situation professionnelle – proof of your work status eg a work contract – either a CDI (permenant contract) or CDD (short-term contract)

Justificatif de ressources – proof of financial means, such as your last three months payslips (employers are legally obliged to provide these), other proof of income or proof of pension payments or evidence of savings.

Avis d’imposition – tax return. Some processes ask for this separately, for others it can be used as proof of resources – this is not a copy of the declaration that you make, but the receipt you get back from the tax office laying out your income and any payments that are required. If you declare your taxes online in France, you can download a copy of this document from the tax website. 

Quittance de loyer – rent receipts

Attestation de bon paiment – a document from your landlord stating that you pay your rent on time

Un garant – for some processes, particularly house-hunting, you might need a financial guarantor. This can be tricky for foreigners since it has to be someone you know reasonably well, but that person must also be living (and sometimes working) in France, and they will also need to provide all the above documents. If you’re struggling to find an acceptable guarantor, there are online services that will provide a guarantor (for a fee).

En cours de traitement – this means that your dossier has been received and is in the process of being evaluated. Depending on the process this stage can take anywhere between hours, months or even years (in the case of citizenship applications).

RDV – the shortened version of rendez-vous, this is an appointment. Certain processes require you to first submit your dossier and then attend an in-person appointment.

Votre dossier est incomplet – bad news, you are missing one or more crucial documents and your application will not proceed any further until you have remedied this.

Votre dossier est validé – your dossier has been approved. Time to pop the Champagne!

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