Coronavirus: French hospitals delay operations to cope with surge.

Hospitals in the Paris and Marseille regions of France are delaying some scheduled operations to free up space for Covid-19 patients, as the government tries to stem a rising tide of infections, the health minister said.

As restaurants and bars in Marseille prepared to shut down on Sunday night for a week as part of scattered new French virus restrictions, health minister Olivier Veran insisted that the country was planning no new lockdowns.

Two Nobel Prize-winning economists proposed in Le Monde newspaper this weekend that France should lockdown its population for the first three weeks of December, to allow families to get together safely for end-of-year holidays and to “save Christmas”.

But speaking on LCI television, Mr Veran said “we do not want to confine the country again. Several countries around us made other choices. We don’t want this”.

He urged the French to make an effort to slow the spread of the virus, after health authorities reported 14,000 new infections on Saturday amid a mass testing effort.

France has reported 31,700 virus-related deaths, the third-highest toll in Europe after Britain and Italy.

While at least 10 per cent of French intensive care beds are now occupied with Covid-19 patients, Mr Veran said they were far from saturation.

But he said hospitals in the Paris and Marseille regions were delaying scheduled surgeries to free up space.

Hospitals temporarily suspended such operations when the virus swept through France in March and April, creating backlogs that persist six months later, adding to the strain on patients and medical staff.

Marseille restaurant and bar owners and local officials have protested against the closure order, accusing the central government in Paris of singling out their rival Mediterranean city for punishment.

The government is imposing milder restrictions on Paris and several other cities, with gyms shut down, public gatherings of more than 10 people banned and bars ordered to close at 10pm starting on Monday night. – AP

Related news

US election: Trump travels to Florida as he steps up campaigning.

‘The longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he gets,’ Biden tells Delaware

How would a Biden presidency affect Ireland – and the world?.

Hopes of a return to international co-operation under Biden may be premature

1 2

Sudan to normalise ties with Israel in move dubbed by Palestinians as ‘a stab in the back’.

Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu thanks Donald Trump for helping broker deal

Pompeo steps up diplomatic efforts to end Nagorno-Karabakh fighting.

Azerbaijan and Armenian forces clash as prospects of peace settlement ‘very remote’

Marcus Rashford praised after businesses rally to offer free school meals.

Manchester United striker hailed a ‘hero’ after bid to provide free meals to children

Libya’s main warring factions sign permanent ceasefire.

Agreement reached between two sides amid international and local scepticism

‘It was barbaric’: Nigeria reels from brutality of protest crackdown.

Demonstrators say assault seemed premeditated and allege army involvement

1 4

Warsaw braced for protests after anti-abortion ruling.

Abortions now legal only in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s health

Warsaw braced for further protests after anti-abortion ruling.

Abortions now legal only in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s health

Angela Merkel’s party in a tizzy as it struggles to appoint a new leader.

Coronavirus has hobbled the CDU’s long-running efforts to reach a decision

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies