A French doctor warned that his country has “lost control of the epidemic”.
Dr. Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the scientific council that advises the French government on the virus, said the country is in a “very difficult, even critical situation.”
“There probably are more than 50,000 new cases every day. Our estimate at the Scientific Council is closer to 100,000 – twice as many,” Delfraissy told RTL radio. “Between those who aren’t tested and asymptomatic patients, we’re close to that number of cases. This means the virus is spreading extremely fast.”
France declared a state of emergency earlier this month and has been imposing more and more restrictions since September to try to ease the pressure on France’s hospitals, where COVID-19 patients occupy more than half of all ICU beds.
Dr. Eric Caumes, head of the infections and tropical diseases department at Paris’ Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, said the country needs to lock down again.
“We lost control of the epidemic but that doesn’t date from yesterday,” he said on broadcaster Franceinfo. “We lost control of the epidemic several weeks ago already.”
Europe’s confirmed death toll has surpassed 250,000 according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, which puts the global toll at more than 1.1 million.