PARIS, MARCH 10 : Implementing a lockdown in Paris and its surrounding regions, the main economic hub of France, to contain the coronavirus resurgence and relieve hospitals is not on the agenda, Director General of Health Jerome Salomon said.
“Ile-de-France (greater Paris region) is probably the region that we monitor the most… We are mobilising all the available beds and staff,” Xinhua news agency quoted Salomon as saying to the French RTL radio on Tuesday.
However, “a lockdown in the region is not on the agenda”, he added.
“Confinement is last resort that would be proposedif we were under the impression (that) the hospital system could not hold out.
“We are under great tension and we are monitoring the situation day after day,” Salomon added.
On Monday, the health service (ARS) of the greater Paris region issued “a firm order” to delay 40 per cent of surgeries to free more beds for Covid-19 patients.
In Ile-de-France, 973 patients are currently in intensive care for less than 1,050 beds available, according to Aurelien Rousseau, general director of ARS Ile-de-France.
At the national level, 3,849 Covid-19 patients needed life support, the highest level since November 2020.
Coronavirus patients now occupy 75 per cent of the country’s 5,100 intensive care beds.
In order to rein in rampant daily infections, the government has introduced local weekend lockdown in Alpes-Maritimes, south of France, the northern city of Dunkirk and Pas-de-Calais region near the Belgian border.
For now, the greater Paris region is spared from weekend confinement, but is placed under tougher restrictions including the closure of large malls, reinforced mask-wearing rule in all urban areas and limit of unnecessary travel.