France Steps Up Coronavirus Evacuations From Packed Hospitals
Faizan Hashmi 2 months ago Mon 30th March 2020 | 01:50 AM
Nancy, France, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Mar, 2020 ) :France on Sunday staged its largest evacuation of coronavirus patients to date from hospitals in the hard-hit east, increasing efforts to free up intensive care units as officials warned of an influx of serious cases in the coming days.
Dozens of hospital workers, flanked by police and soldiers standing guard, spent hours installing four patients in each wagon in an operation that began before dawn.
"We have to free up beds, it's absolutely crucial.... We're still seeing an increase in patient numbers," said Francois Brun, head of emergency services at the regional hospital in nearby Metz.
The daily toll was below the 319 deaths reported on Saturday, but the figures include only deaths reported in hospitals, and not at retirement homes or assisted-living facilities.
- 'Battle is only starting' - Officials fear the virus risks spreading quickly at the country's roughly 7,000 retirement homes, and several have already announced dozens of deaths.
Those figures will start to be reported this week, the prime minister said on Sunday, warning that "the battle is only starting." "This war will probably be won on the basis of intensive care beds, and our ability to strategically use all our intensive care resources on the national level," said Marie-Odile Saillard, director of the Metz regional hospital.
National health service chief Jerome Salomon said 359 more people were placed in intensive care Sunday.
"This is the most important number to keep track of, because it reflects the strength of the epidemic," he said at his daily briefing.
The government has ordered one billion face masks, mainly from China, but warned that surging worldwide demand for protective equipment means they might not arrive soon enough for medical workers currently facing shortages.
A plane from China carrying 5.5 million masks and other equipment arrived in Paris on Sunday, though the government has admitted it needs 40 million masks each week for health workers alone as the outbreak rages.