In the Covid-19 intensive care unit of the Anthony Private Hospital south of Paris, there are no beds that can be used free of charge for a long time, and medical staff want to know when their workload will reach its peak.
When a recovered elderly patient was taken out of the ward, smiling faintly, the boss Jean-Pierre Diem was on the phone arranging the next arrival and giving instructions to the staff.
Louisa Pinto, a nurse with nearly 20 years of experience, points to the empty room where a cleaner is working, scrubbing the mattress for next arrival.
She said: “The beds don’t even have time to cool down.”
So far, everything has stabilized in more than 20 hospital beds around her lifeless with Covid-19 victims, and there has been a silent battle against the virus.
Paris is experiencing a third wave of pandemic, which may put more pressure on saturated hospitals than the first wave in March and April last year.
Pinto said: “With the arrival of April, the situation will become very complicated.” Pinto is the mother of three children who has not been on vacation since last summer. Like other employees, the planned vacation will be cancelled this month.
Even if the new restrictions take effect this week, Health Minister Olivier Veran predicts that the infection rate in France will only reach its peak in mid-April, and the number of hospitalizations will continue to climb until the end of the month.
Last week, the Paris Public Hospital Authority AP-HP leaked a shocking forecast to the French media, showing that by the end of April, even if the locks are tightly closed, there are still 2,800-4,400 people in the Paris area receiving intensive care.
In the first wave, this number reached a peak of 2,700.
Denis Chandesris, head of the Anthony Hospital, said that by drastically reducing all operations, except for severe cancer, heart disease and emergency cases, the capacity of intensive care has been improved.
Hospitals across the region have taken similar measures, redeploying beds and building new wards, but they are reaching their limits.
Chandslees explained: “The difficulty is not the bed or the materials, but the problem of finding medical staff and nursing staff who can accept patients.”
Last Sunday, a group of emergency care supervisors in Paris warned in an open letter that the situation is so bad that medical staff will soon have to start “triage”-choosing patients for treatment based on their chances of survival.
This prospect frightens employees-President Emmanuel Macron has always promised to shield hospitals and avoid a mountain of mountains in the corridors of Italy last March.
In a televised speech to the nation on Wednesday night, he promised to increase the number of intensive care beds nationwide from the current 7,665 to 10,000, an increase of 30%.
He said: “I want to thank medical students, retirees, Army health departments and medical reserve volunteers. All these people will be more mobilized.”
Opposition politicians and some experts are skeptical, and an ifop poll conducted by the Dimanche weekly found that only 35% of French people have confidence in their government to “effectively respond to the coronavirus.”
Nurse Pinto emphasized that intensive care work is “very technical” and requires specialized training and knowledge.
Macron plans to conduct a limited lock-in next month to reverse the upward trend of cases. Compared with the level of last month, the number of cases per day has approximately doubled to 40,000.
The sharp acceleration is due to the spread of the more contagious so-called British variant, which has dominated in France.
The new measures include restricting travel distances nationwide, limiting people to ten kilometers (six miles) from home, and closing schools and unnecessary shops.
The significant increase in vaccination campaigns-which started slowly but is now accelerating the pace-makes any medical staff at Anthony Private Hospital hopeful.
After months of lack of drug treatment, the government promised to promote and increase the assassination rate on a large scale this month.
Samir Taik, a taxi driver from Paris, left the Anthony Hospital last week and became the 1,000th Covid-19 patient. He benefited from oxygen therapy in the Covid-19 intensive care unit.
The 43-year-old man is passionate about boxing and sports. He is still short of breath and feels uneasy at seeing his health deteriorate so rapidly.
He said he knew three to four people who were similar to those he had recently been hospitalized.
He said: “Young people need to know that we are not talking about 80-year-olds, but 30, 40, and 45-year-olds who have no health problems. Tell AFP.
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