Covid: hospitals remain under pressure despite the decline in the epidemic

Posted on Nov 17, 2020 at 5:01 p.m.

“We have started the decline of the epidemic”. This Tuesday, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on BFMTV and RMC , welcomed the fact that “Government measures”November containment, but also October curfews “Work”. But the reopening of shops or places of worship is not yet topical, because “We are still in a phase of significant active circulation”, he insisted.

In fact, the virus has been much less virulent for two weeks. On Monday, the positivity rate for Covid tests fell to 16.5%, from 21% a few days ago. The incidence which had approached 500 cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants at the end of October is now at 284 per 100,000. As for hospital and critical care admissions, they are decreasing day by day. As a result, the number of Covid patients in intensive care stabilizes around 4,900. On the other hand, the peak of hospitalizations has not yet been crossed, with Monday more than 33,000 simultaneous Covid cases .

In this context, it is very unlikely that the resuscitation curve for Covid will rise to 7,000 beds occupied simultaneously – as expected in the event of containment failure – or even to 6,000 beds – the scenario of successful containment. Olivier Véran, however, defended himself from any alarmism on Tuesday. Including non-Covid patients, “To date we are around 8,300, 8,400 patients in intensive care, that is to say more than 140% of our initial capacities”, he explained.

A tray that settles down

“We are far from a totally green situation, it’s a plateau that is settling down”, warned for his part the president of the Hospital Federation of France Frédéric Valletoux. “In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, in Hauts-de-France, in Ile-de-France, the levels of care are still high”, he detailed this Tuesday. In fact, in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, more than 7,000 people remained hospitalized on Monday, against 3,000 at the peak of April, with 860 people in intensive care on Sunday. In Hauts-de-France, hospitalizations for Covid climbed to 3,200, against 2,600 in the first wave. In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the first bump was at 1,900, and the rebound at 3,300. Not to mention Occitania, which went from 1,000 to 2,200.

A l’inverse, Île-de-France is in a much better position than in spring , and can afford to welcome patients from other regions after having sent theirs elsewhere. From one wave to another, there are half as many hospitalized patients in the region (6,600 instead of 13,200 in April). The same goes for resuscitation cases. Above all, the number of Ile-de-France residents in intensive care seems to have reached a plateau, or even started a descent since the peak of November 12 (to 1,133 patients). The internal projections of the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris are now counting on a ebb (940 to 1,075 cases in intensive care this Saturday).

Even if the incidence is reduced in town, the decline in the hospital will be slow, however, warns the director general of the FHF, Zaynab Riet. Because if Covid beds become available, overflowing hospitals will be able to keep newcomers instead of organizing medical evacuations. And reschedule operations canceled in recent weeks. Hospital staff do not go to rest much at Christmas.

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