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In the intensive care unit of a hospital in the Paris suburb of Antony, no beds are empty for long, writes AFP.
As soon as a patient is rolled out of the ward – not healthy, but a little less ill – the manager Jean-Pierre Deyme is in the process of giving orders to make the bed ready for the next one.
– The bed does not have time to get cold, says Louisa Pinto, a nurse with almost 20 years of experience.
The scene in Antony’s intensive care unit is now being repeated in hospitals throughout the Paris area, the hardest-hit region in France.
The intensive care units are almost full and more and more patients are coming.
During the first wave of infections a year ago, at most 2,700 were admitted to intensive care units in the Paris region.
Now the health authorities say that they believe the number in the region will rise between 2800 and 4400 during April.
Worst in Western Europe
The crisis in the Paris area is a result of France now being the hardest hit by the major countries in Western Europe.
France registered 60,992 new corona infections on Sunday. This is the highest number for a single day since the beginning of November. According to the authorities, Sunday’s infection rates include some tests from previous days, but the 7-day average is also the highest since November.
The peak of the infection occurs at the same time as the neighboring country Great Britain on Sunday had 2297 new cases of infection. This is the lowest number for a single day since the beginning of September last year.
Part of the difference is that far more Britons have been vaccinated. Figures from Our World in Data show that 46.29 percent of all Britons have received at least one vaccine dose. The corresponding figure for France is 13.37 percent.
Yet it is not just the vaccines that make the difference. Italy and Spain both have roughly the same proportion of people vaccinated as France, but have avoided the sharp increase in infection in recent days.
Boasts up in the clouds
This weekend, France introduced stricter corona measures and will close the country’s schools and kindergartens.
Domestic travel bans and nationwide gate bans will be introduced after 19.00.
President Macron has been criticized by the opposition and medical experts for not introducing national measures earlier.
An article in Le Monde from last Tuesday has also led to strong reactions against Macron.
In the article, some of Macron’s political supporters brag uninhibitedly about the boss and call him an expert on the corona.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer says the president has acquired real expertise on health issues.
“It is not impossible for someone with his intelligence and who has studied the subject for several months,” says Blanquer.
An unnamed adviser says Macron reads so much about the disease that he has learned things that experts do not know.
The president of the National Assembly, Richard Ferrand, goes even further in the celebrations. He says that Macron is so knowledgeable that “he could easily have written a doctorate on covid-19”.
Make fun of the president
The result is that many make fun of the allegations about the president.
The French Communist Party signs
that “We already know the name of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2021” and illustrates with a picture of Macron.
On a déjà le nom du Nobel 2021 de médecine https://t.co/inlSmJRlnH— PCF (@PCF) March 30, 2021
Others draw comparisons with President Donald Trump, who on several occasions claimed to be an expert in various fields.
Opposition politician Bastien Lachaud writes
that Macron has gone mad and continues:
Tel un autocrate devenu mégalomane, ivre de pouvoir et d'éloges de ses courtisans, Emmanuel Macron organise le culte de sa personnalité : il sait tout, il prévoit tout, il décide de tout. Dans le réel, nous n'avons pas de vaccin, les écoles craquent, l'AP-HP va trier les patients https://t.co/dO31Kzieeu— Bastien Lachaud (@LachaudB) March 30, 2021
“Full of power and praise from his court, Emmanuel Macron organizes a cult of personality: He knows everything, he predicts everything, he decides everything.”
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