French health minister warns of more severe coronavirus cases
France must stay vigilant as more people will be hospitalised in intensive care units in the next two weeks, reflecting a flare-up in coronavirus infections in recent days, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Saturday.
Veran however ruled out the need for a new nationwide lockdown, telling BFM television that France had other means to fight the virus, including testing.
THE DEATH TOLL STOOD AT 30,686 AS OF FRIDAY
“I cannot envision a general lockdown. The lockdown was a lid on an overflowing cooking pot,” he said.
As the rise in infections has mainly affected young people, who are less likely to develop complications, there has so far been less strain on French hospitals, which were almost overwhelmed at the end of March.
But after falling steadily for months after an April 14 peak of 32,292, the number of people hospitalised was up by 28 on Friday to 4,671, rising for a sixth day in a row.
Current hospitalisation numbers reflected infections contracted two weeks ago, Veran said. “So it is obvious that in the next 15 days there will be an increase, it will not be massive but there will nevertheless be an increase in the number of severe cases and in the number of people hospitalised and in ICU units”