Coronavirus 'not under control' in Paris region, says hospital executive

FILE PHOTO: People, wearing protective face masks, walk on Parisian covered passages amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) – The coronavirus situation is worsening in the greater Paris region where hospitals are under immense strain, the director general of the AP-HP Paris hospitals organisation, Martin Hirsch, said on Wednesday.

Hirsch told RTL radio there were two options to contain the disease – a local weekend lockdown, already in place in other parts of the country, or a broader lockdown in the region.

“The virus is not under control. There are as many patients in intensive care units today as there were at the peak of the second wave,” he said.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Tuesday the time had come for more coronavirus restrictions in the greater Paris region.

Hirsch said almost 1,100 people were in intensive care with COVID-19 in the region, and that number could reach 1,700 by the end of the month if the current trend continues.

In normal times, the greater Paris region has an intensive care bed capacity of around 1,000, Hirsch said.

In France as a whole, there were 4,239 patients in intensive care with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, close to a four-month high.

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