Covid-19: the new epidemic wave is putting pressure on an already weakened hospital system

The fifth wave of Covid-19 continues to progress in France. If the increase in the incidence rate has been observed for more than a month, the pace has accelerated in the past two weeks. The doubling time for cases is now ten days and more than 30,000 new cases are detected daily on average. If all age groups are affected, the strongest progression is observed among those under 9 years old (+ 80%), while the 30-39 year olds continue to be the age group where the virus circulates the most, with an incidence of 467 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

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The repercussions on the hospital are clear: Friday, December 3, 11,103 patients with Covid-19 were hospitalized (an increase of 19% compared to the previous week), including 2,058 in critical care services (+ 26% ). “We are in a worrying situation. In ten out of thirteen regions, the number of weekly hospital admissions is already above the peak of the fourth wave ”, underlined Patrick Rolland, epidemiologist at Public Health France, during a press point on Friday. Deaths in hospitals and nursing homes are also up 38% compared to last week.

“It awakens bad memories”

“The number of Covid patients has started to rise again, without there being any saturation of hospitals to date, describes François-René Pruvot, at the head of the conference of presidents of medical commissions of establishment of university hospitals (CME-CHU). This awakens bad memories, when we were already in a worrying situation in the hospital, there is great weariness. “ Since September and the end of the fourth epidemic wave, establishments have been far from having been able to resume normal activity, affected by a shortage of nurses, in particular due to departures and recruitment difficulties, but also of doctors, in the first place. in the emergency services, causing closures at night and at weekends.

Sign of the rising tension, the reactivations of “White plans” multiply, to reorganize in times of crisis, to remind caregivers on their leave or to initiate deprogramming of non-Covid activity. In Rennes, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Lille, Angers, Colmar, Mulhouse, Annecy, Le Mans … “This is not only due to the Covid, but also to the lack of staff and absenteeism”, describes François-René Pruvot.

“We see that the private sector does not follow. For the moment, it is the public hospital that alone pays the price of the Covid. »Jean-Luc Jouve, president of the CME of the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Marseille

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Covid-19: the new epidemic wave is putting pressure on an already weakened hospital system

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