“The fight is just beginning “, warned the Prime Minister seriously on March 28 at a press conference. “Lhe first fifteen days of April will be even more difficult than those which have just passed “. Edouard Philippe described a “health crisis of unprecedented magnitude for at least a century “.” No health system has been designed to cope with such a wave “, he judges.
The executive has explained how it intends to arm the French healthcare system to cope with the wave of patients that will continue to surge.
Reinforcement of resuscitation capacities
France had 5,000 resuscitation beds at the start of the crisis. “We are now at 10,000 beds, and we want to reach the goal of 14,000 to 14,500 beds throughout the country“, announces the Minister of Solidarity and Health. France has ordered 1,000 respirators from Air Liquide (which will”multiply its production by ten “, according to the government), has it loaned from abroad and will also order it from non-French suppliers.
The movement of patients by air, by train, boat, will continue to relieve the most congested regions, such as the Grand-Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Corsica. 50 patients will be transferred from the Grand-Est region this weekend, in particular via a health train from Nancy.
The very high tensions over the drugs needed for resuscitation services are a real cause for concern. “The demand for resuscitation products has increased by around 2000%. All companies are fully mobilized to respond to a situation never experienced before.“, says Olivier Véran.
Billion masks ordered from China
Olivier Véran confirms a massive order for masks from Chinese manufacturers, covering more than a billion units. An airlift will be set up to transport these masks.
In the meantime, the government remains faithful to its doctrine of the distribution of masks, by privileging nursing staff and the frail. 36 million masks have been destocked and sent to all territories in the past seven days. About 40 million masks are consumed each week.
24 companies have had their alternative masks qualified not intended for healthcare teams. They will be produced up to 500,000 units per day in the coming days. “I insist very strongly on the fact that the mask should not be accompanied by an oversight of barrier gestures “, recalled the Prime Minister.
Quick tests ordered
France has ordered 5 million rapid tests, so that 30,000 such diagnoses per day can be made in April, 60,000 in May, 100,000 in June. “Classic” PCR tests will continue, at an increasingly fast pace, to reach 50,000 tests per day at the end of April, promised Olivier Véran. France is looking closely at future serology tests, which allow to know whether a person is immunized or not. The Minister of Health hopes that this technology will be available in the coming weeks, when France prepares for deconfinement.
“No delay” on the initiation of containment
For Edouard Philippe, the decision to contain the French was taken at the right time. “At the time of our containment decision, there were less than 8,000 cases on the national territory and less than 200 dead. Everyone will be able to appreciate the moments when the governments made this decision, but I will not let anyone say that there was a delay in the decision on containment“He said. A new update on the containment exit strategy will be made after the week of March 30 when the resuscitation entry data is updated.
“No treatment” yet
The Minister of Health recalled that at this stage, “no specific treatment has been proven in France and in the rest of the world. Research is in full swing, tests of several molecules are promising. 13 clinical research projects are underway, ten should be approved quickly. “