France: Hospital workers demand more resources to fight COVID-19

Health workers rallied in Paris on Thursday, calling for more resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of COVID-19 patients in French intensive care units is now the highest since mid-December, at 2,842, the public health agency said on Wednesday.

The whole country has been under a 6 pm curfew since Saturday. But health officials are concerned that may not be enough to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Bars and restaurants have been closed for months, and the government has warned that ski stations will likely not reopen in February either. COVID-19 has claimed more than 71,000 lives nationwide.

Protesting outside the health ministry in Paris, health workers and union representatives said the pandemic had made it clear that France’s successive governments have not put enough money into public hospitals.

“Everyone in this country realised what it was like for public hospitals: the suffering, the dire working conditions, and most importantly what happens when there’s a pandemic and we need to cater for the needs of the population, but we just don’t have the capacity,” said Frederic Lopez, a nurse at Emile Roux Hospital.

“We no longer have the capacity today, and it’s been like that for over 15 years,” he told Euronews.

Watch the report from our international correspondent Anelise Borges in the video player, above.

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