'France has 'lost control' of COVID': French doctor

Updated: 27 October, 2020 10:32 IST | Agencies | Paris

Dr Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the government's virus advisory body, expressed surprise on Monday at the "brutality" of the rise, after over 52,000 cases were reported on Sunday

Commuters walk on the platform of a Paris subway on Sunday. Pic/AP
Commuters walk on the platform of a Paris subway on Sunday. Pic/AP

Virus patients now occupy more than half of France's intensive care units, and some doctors are urging tougher restrictions after another record jump in confirmed infections.

Dr Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the government's virus advisory body, expressed surprise on Monday at the "brutality" of the rise, after over 52,000 cases were reported on Sunday.

Local lockdowns needed

Speaking on RTL radio, he floated the idea of local lockdowns or extending France's 9 pm to 6 am curfews, which currently cover more than two-thirds of its people. The number of people hospitalised in France with the virus has climbed sharply in recent weeks, putting renewed pressure on ICUs. COVID-19 patients now fill over two-thirds of the ICUs in the Paris region.

Dr Eric Caumes, head of the infectious and tropical diseases department at Paris' Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, told broadcaster Franceinfo on Monday that "we have lost control of the epidemic, though it doesn't date from yesterday."

France has been among countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, reporting 34,761 virus-related deaths. Delfraissy warns that this latest wave of the virus could be "stronger than the first" and is spreading all around Europe.

Mexico sees 1.9L 'excess deaths'

Mexican health authorities has said the country's true virus death toll is far higher than thought, saying there were 1,93,170 "excess" deaths in the year up to September 26, with 1,39,153 of those judged to be attributable to COVID-19. That is about 50,000 more deaths than the official toll of 89,000.

Melbourne sees no new case in 24 hrs

Melbourne, Australia's former coronavirus hot spot, will emerge from lockdown after the city on Monday recorded its first day without a new case in over four months. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said from 11.59 pm on Tuesday all shops, restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to open.

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First Published: 27 October, 2020 08:23 IST

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