Paris may head to closure amid ICU filling, new variants


Paris could soon enter another lockdown, as new variants of the coronavirus cause intensive care units across the city to fill up.

The Associated Press reports that French officials are considering another blockade, as special medical planes airlifted patients out of Paris to less saturated regions.

“If we have to close, we will,” Jérôme Salomon, director of France’s public health agency, said on Sunday. “The situation is complex, tense and is getting worse in the Paris region.”

The AP notes that the French government has been relying on curfews for the past few months to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, but Salomon said a 6 p.m. curfew across the country “was not enough.”

According to Salomon, there are currently more ICU patients in France, around 6,300, than the number of ICU beds the country had before the pandemic.

The European Union, which includes France, has approved four vaccines for use in its member countries, including those from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Frances has confirmed almost 4 million cases of coronavirus and almost 90,000 deaths, which is among the highest in the world.

In February, the French government announced stricter coronavirus controls on its border with Germany as part of new efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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