Coronavirus: 562 Deaths and 14,459 Confirmed Cases, Update on the Situation in France

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Coronavirus killed 562 in France

During a press briefing on Saturday 21st March 2020, the Ministry of Health announced 112 new deaths and 1,847 additional contaminations linked to coronavirus covid-19.

Coronavirus victims are increasing. This Saturday, March 21, 2020, the Ministry of Health announced 112 new deaths and 1,847 additional confirmed casessince the last assessment made the day before. It is the heaviest recorded on a single day since the start of the epidemic.

France, therefore, has a total of 562 dead and 14,459 contaminations. 

6,172 people are hospitalized, including 1,525 serious cases in intensive care. “We observe serious forms even in young adults: 50% of people hospitalized in intensive care are under 60 years”, specifies the ministry.

And in the world?

The coronavirus epidemic has infected more than 271,000 people and killed more than 11,000 people worldwide. The countries most affected are Italy (4,825 dead), China (3,139), Iran (1,556) and Spain (1,375). France is the fifth most affected country.
In all, 900 million people in 35 countries are confined to their homes.

Extension of containment mentioned Tuesday

For the moment, the prolongation of the confinement, acted since Tuesday 17th March for a period of 15 days minimum, has not been discussed, even if more stringent restrictions have been taken to curb the spread of coronavirus covid-19. Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, indicated that the scientific council had been seized and that it will deliver its conclusions on the matter Monday 23rd March.

“The prolongation of containment will depend on the respect of the application of containment by the population and the evolution of the epidemic situation”, underlines the Ministry of Health.

Curfew in multiple cities

Curfews have been implemented in Béziers (Hérault), Vallauris, Menton (Alpes-Maritimes) and Roquebrune-sur-Argens (Var), from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., as well as in Perpignan (from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. ).

The mayor of Montpellier has also introduced this curfew, accompanied by the closure of all food markets. In the Hérault prefecture, public transport is now reserved for working users, and a gymnasium has been made available for food aid.

Read also: Coronavirus. In Montpellier, the mayor announces a curfew

40 000 verbalisations

Fixed fines of 135 euros will be assessed in the event of unjustified exits. Nearly 40,000 people were fined, and some were placed in police custody for “endangering the lives of others,” said Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior.

“The characteristic of the great contemporary health crises is to be new and unpredictable”, underlined the Minister of Health Olivier Véran on Saturday before the deputies. The State must therefore take “unprecedented and unpredictable measures but which must nonetheless be in strict compliance with the rule of law and public and individual freedoms”.

250 million masks distributed

To put an end to the controversy linked to the lack of masks, he announced, during a press point organized this Saturday, March 21, 2020, the distribution of 250 million masks, which will be delivered in the coming weeks.

France will have recourse to massive production on the national territory, as well as to the import of masks, in particular from China.

For the moment, France has a stock of 86 million units, including five million FFP2 masks.

For his part, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe indicated that “40 prototypes” of masks, for surgical masks as for FFP2 were currently “under test” in order to increase production capacities.

Suspension of the waiting day

He also announced the general suspension of the waiting day in the event of sick leave for the duration of the state of health emergency which must be declared shortly.

A week of paid vacation may be imposed

Parliament also confirmed a provision allowing employers to impose a week of paid vacation during the confinement period . A measure presented as “a reasonable effort” requested from employees while the state “is implementing an exceptional plan to save jobs and avoid layoffs”.

130,000 French people stranded abroad

France is also still working to organize the return of around 130,000 nationals stranded abroad.

A new symptom

Regarding the symptoms of the disease, the authorities note “a resurgence of cases of anosmia”. It is a “sudden disappearance of smell without nasal obstruction and which can occur in isolation”, which requires calling your doctor to avoid self-medication.

“The crisis will intensify”

“The crisis will intensify in the coming week and the number of serious cases and deaths will increase,” warned Jean-François Delfraissy, the president of the scientific council on Covid-19, Saturday in Le Monde.

“Confinement, in the current state of resources, is the only way to break the curve of the epidemic and prevent the healthcare system from exploding in flight,” he said.

The confinement may cease “when the virus no longer circulates”, judged Olivier Véran.

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