French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge

French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
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French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
Sunbathers sit by the Plage des Catalans in Marseille, southern France, Friday, April 2, 2021. With France now Europe’s latest virus danger zone, Macron on Wednesday ordered temporary school closures nationwide and new travel restrictions. But he resisted calls for a strict lockdown, instead sticking to his “third way” strategy that seeks a route between freedom and confinement to keep both infections and a restless populace under control until mass vaccinations take over. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

French hospitals brought in extra staff for the Easter holiday weekend to cope with growing numbers of virus patients, while travelers converged on train stations and highways to flee big cities before new nationwide restrictions take hold.

With a new virus variant spreading fast and French intensive care units as full as they were last April, the government closed all schools and imposed stricter new rules that take effect Sunday around the country.
Bracing for more COVID-19 patients arriving over the weekend, hospitals across hard-hit northern France were ordered to bring in extra staff.
Dr. Christophe Boyer, head of emergency services at the Amiens-Picardie Hospital, is worried about the rising number of patients but also dismayed that after more than a year of the pandemic, he’s asking staff to make an extra effort yet again and work on Easter.
“It’s been a year of trying to keep our heads above water,” he told The Associated Press.
In Paris, police said Saturday they are deploying 6,600 officers to enforce the new virus restrictions, which include a ban on traveling more than 10 kilometers (6 miles), a ban on outdoor gatherings of six people or more and a continued nationwide 7 p.m. curfew.
On the Mediterranean shores of Marseille, police patrolled amid sunbathers and fined people drinking in public or not wearing masks.

  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    A medical staff who received shiatsu massage, checks a patient at the Porte Verte Hospital in Versailles, west of Paris, Friday, April 2, 2021. As French hospitals fill ever faster with virus patients, shiatsu massage specialists are providing stress relief and muscle relaxation to health workers, in a program organized by Human Impact, a non-profit startup aimed at taking care of France’s caregivers. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    A medical staff who received shiatsu massage, trends to a patient at the Porte Verte Hospital in Versailles, west of Paris, Friday, April 2, 2021. As French hospitals fill ever faster with virus patients, shiatsu massage specialists are providing stress relief and muscle relaxation to health workers, in a program organized by Human Impact, a non-profit startup aimed at taking care of France’s caregivers. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    People wait outside as they arrive to be vaccinated against Covid-19 the opening day of a mass vaccination centre set up in the Olympique Lyonnais soccer Stadium, in Decines-Charpieu, Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Jean-Philippe Ksiazek, Pool via AP)
  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    Patients receive an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on the opening day of a mass vaccination centre set up in the Olympique Lyonnais soccer Stadium, in Decines-Charpieu, Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Jean-Philippe Ksiazek, Pool via AP)
  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    Travelers wait to board a train at the Montparnasse railway station, in Paris, Friday, April 2, 2021. With France now Europe’s latest virus danger zone, Macron on Wednesday ordered temporary school closures nationwide and new travel restrictions. But he resisted calls for a strict lockdown, instead sticking to his “third way” strategy that seeks a route between freedom and confinement to keep both infections and a restless populace under control until mass vaccinations take over. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    Travelers wait to board a train at the Montparnasse railway station, in Paris, Friday, April 2, 2021. With France now Europe’s latest virus danger zone, Macron on Wednesday ordered temporary school closures nationwide and new travel restrictions. But he resisted calls for a strict lockdown, instead sticking to his “third way” strategy that seeks a route between freedom and confinement to keep both infections and a restless populace under control until mass vaccinations take over. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
  • French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge
    A traveler waits to board a train at the Montparnasse railway station, in Paris, Friday, April 2, 2021. With France now Europe’s latest virus danger zone, Macron on Wednesday ordered temporary school closures nationwide and new travel restrictions. But he resisted calls for a strict lockdown, instead sticking to his “third way” strategy that seeks a route between freedom and confinement to keep both infections and a restless populace under control until mass vaccinations take over. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

However authorities said they would show “tolerance” over the Easter weekend to allow parents to arrange for child care or to allow city dwellers to travel to the countryside to settle in for a month of lockdown restrictions. As a result, crowds packed Paris-area train stations starting Friday night, and the SNCF national rail authority said it was expecting 600,000 people to travel over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the government is trying to speed up France’s vaccination efforts after a slow start dogged by vaccine delays, red tape and logistical problems. People lined up at a stadium in Lyon on Saturday to get vaccinated, and other vaccination centers around the country were stepping up injections throughout the holiday period.

More than 96,000 people with the virus have died in France, which has reported more virus infections than any European country.



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French hospitals boost Easter staff to battle virus resurge (2021, April 3)
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