Coronavirus: 674 Dead, 16,018 Confirmed Cases… Update on the Situation in France

General News
The number of coronavirus deaths has risen to 674 in France

During a press briefing organized on Sunday 22nd March 2020, the Director-General of Health, Jérôme Salomon announced 1559 new cases and 112 additional deaths.

France, under confinement, has more victims of the coronavirus. In a press briefing organized on Sunday 22nd March 2020, the Director-General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, announced 1559 new confirmed cases and 112 new deaths, since the last assessment made the day before.

This brings to 674 dead and 16,018 infected people, including 1746 serious cases, according to PCR tests. This assessment only takes into account patients who died in hospital, not those who died in nursing homes or at home.

And in the world ?

The epidemic infected more than 318,000 people and killed 13,664 others. 169 countries are affected. The countries most affected are Italy (5,476 dead), China (3,267), Spain (1,756), Iran (1,685), and France.

“It’s a war, it will last”

“The wave is here,” said Emmanuel Macron, quoted in the Journal du Dimanche .

“This is a war, it will last”, continues the head of state, who details the priorities: “protect the weakest (…) and our health system”, but also manage the “stress” of society and prepare to “face an unprecedented financial crisis, a crisis in the real economy”.

The first death of a hospital doctor

As a sign that this crisis is worsening, the first hospital doctor died of covid-19, we learned from the Minister of Health, this Sunday.

Towards extending containment?

On the sixth day of general confinement, the authorities are preparing the ground for the extension of this unprecedented measure, currently decreed until the end of March, as demanded by many voices in the medical world. Italy, now the most affected country in the world, has already extended and tightened its own confinement. In China, where the epidemic started, that of Wuhan, its epicentre, lasted some 60 days.

The authorities asked the scientific council created on the Covid-19 to rule on “the duration” and “the extent” of the confinement. His opinion is expected on Monday, but everything suggests that he will decide to extend or even strengthen the measures.
Towards extending containment?

Failure to respect confinement punished more severely

The National Assembly adopted an amendment on Saturday that aims to punish people who leave their homes without authorization much more severely.

The first charge is 135 euros, then 1,500 if repeat offenders are checked within 15 days. On more than three occasions within 30 days,  the contravention becomes an offence. He was punished with six months’ imprisonment and a fine of 3,750 euros.

Read also: Non-compliance with confinement: up to six months in prison and 3750 euros fine

Extended curfews

On the ground, many local elected officials imposed a curfew, as in all the cities of more than 10 000 inhabitants of the Alpes-Maritimes, Roquebrune-sur-Argens (Var), Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes), Béziers (Hérault) ), Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine) or Montpellier, where the town hall also ordered the closure of food markets and reserved transport for workers.

In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for “going towards a much more severe confinement”, while defending the outdoor food markets, but with “drastic measures”, in an interview with the Parisian .

Launch of the civic reserve

The government launched this Sunday an appeal to the French by asking them to volunteer to the civic reserve to help the poorest, isolated, elderly, sick and disabled, by distributing meals, making shopping, or just making a phone call.

Read also: Containment: distribution of meals, shopping for neighbours… here’s how to help

No massive screening

Regarding the use of tests, reserved for certain categories of populations (frail, elderly, pregnant women, etc.), Mr. Véran reaffirmed Sunday that the authorities were preparing to “be able to do a lot of tests when the time comes”. And this moment, “it is the moment of the lifting of containment”.

But for the moment, no massive screening, as for example practised with apparent success in South Korea. Because there is simply not enough in France, regularly explains the president of the Scientific Council, Jean-François Delfraissy.


On the ground, hospital structures are saturated in certain very affected regions, such as in Alsace where the army has evacuated a dozen patients to other regions and is installing a field hospital in Mulhouse, which should be operational at the start of the week. Some patients have also been evacuated to border Germany and Switzerland.

The army is also helping in Corsica, where the amphibious helicopter carrier Tonnerre of the French Navy arrived early Sunday in Ajaccio to evacuate 12 patients suffering from Covid-19 to hospitals in Marseille.

Auchan offers a bonus of 1000 euros to its employees

The distributor Auchan, for its part, announced a bonus of 1000 euros for each of its 65,000 French employees “to salute their exceptional commitment to the health crisis” and allow the stores to remain open to ensure supplies for the populations.

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