Towards the establishment of a “state of health emergency” in France

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Towards the establishment of a


A complete update on the situation in France over the past twenty-four hours



© Olivier Juszczak / 20 Minutes
In Paris, March 17, 2020, during the first day of general confinement in the deserted city, following the corovirus crisis.


CORONAVIRUS – A full update on the situation in France over the past twenty-four hours A historical confinement to wage “war” on coronavirus, and a “state of health emergency” that Parliament must vote Thursday and Friday. Faced with an “unprecedented crisis” and as the number of patients increases exponentially in a practically stationary France, the government announced exceptional measures on Wednesday, in particular to support the economy.

The “state of health emergency” will be declared by decree after the adoption of the bill. The National Assembly and the Senate will be informed “without delay” of the measures taken during this period.

The coronavirus is spreading faster and faster and the death toll rose on Wednesday, the second day of government-ordered confinement, with the risk of overloading emergency services. Hospitals now admit 3,626 patients, 931 of whom are in intensive care. Among these most serious cases, half are aged “less than 60 years”, insisted the Director General of Health, Jerôme Salomon by announcing a total of 264 deaths (89 additional in 24 hours).

Dramatic situation in the Ehpad

In addition to the difficult situation in the Grand Est, the picture is also tightening in Ile-de-France. The inventory is already dramatic in the Ehpad, alerted Gael Durel, president of the Association of coordinating physicians and of the medico-social sector: “When the virus enters (an) establishment, we see rates of 75% of residents affected by the virus and mortality rates catastrophic, beyond 20 to 30% “he said on RTL.

“There is no room for them in the hospital, they are too vulnerable (…) we will privilege, which is quite understandable, people who are more likely to be able to get out”. A situation that Italy has experienced, which has been in containment for almost two weeks. It is also the fear of experts of a saturation of emergencies that led the head of state Emmanuel Macron to announce on Monday strict containment measures for “at least 15 days”.

4,095 fines issued within 24 hours

One hundred thousand law enforcement officials have been deployed, imposing a fixed fine of 135 euros in the event of “violation of the prohibitions on moving outside one’s home”. In 24 hours, 4,095 fines were drawn up, according to the Minister of the Interior.

The government has recognized “logistical difficulties” in the supply of masks, allocated “as a priority to caregivers”, who are nonetheless alarmed by their destitution. Minister Florence Parly announced that 5 million masks Army surgeries had been made available to the Ministry of Health. According to Prof. Salomon, a total of 25 million masks are being delivered to pharmacies and healthcare establishments.

Aware of the vital role they play, the population has shown its support and respect for health personnel, on the front line in the face of the epidemic: at 8 p.m., in Paris and in the regions, rounds of applause sounded: whistles and thank you ! Were notably heard in the streets of Mulhouse, particularly struck.

The first air transfer of six patients took place from Alsace to military hospitals in Toulon and Marseille. The deployment of a military hospital is also planned in Alsace. The government will also set up an air system, linked to Air France, to allow French people stranded abroad due to the pandemic to return home, three ministers announced on Wednesday evening.

Calls to continue working and concerns

Concerns about the very functioning of the country are mounting, despite assurances from the government, which on Wednesday examined provisions to restrict certain freedoms or order requisitions. It can take measures by ordinance to support businesses and limit layoffs.

The government has also called on workers in essential sectors to continue working. “We have to be able to feed ourselves, so that French families can go to the stores of the large distribution and buy food products”, according to the Minister for the Economy, Bruno Le Maire. Medef’s deputy president, Patrick Martin, has warned of a possible halt in economic activity, including in essential sectors, due of an “abrupt change in attitude” by employees, ready to exercise their right of withdrawal after the introduction of sanitary measures. Cashiers in particular are alarmed: photos circulated on social networks showing crates of food stores protected by simple plastic films stretched at the level of the faces.

Olivier Veran has announced that the government will close certain markets “where we see crowds” or “which have a lot of stalls”, to avoid rallies. Some regions have taken measures to deal with the influx of city dwellers who have confined themselves to second homes: rentals prohibited in the Morbihan islands, beaches and water sports in Oleron: “We are in confinement, not on vacation”, storms the president of the island’s communes.

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