Coronavirus: Paris hospitals struggle to meet anticipated spike in patients.

In anticipation of a major spike in the number of coronavirus patients in coming days,already overstretched hospitals in Paris are scrambling to find more intensive care beds, ventilators and medical staff with the figure expected to peak in April, Reuters reports.

Paris hospitals have ordered an extra 186 ventilators to add to the about 1,000-1,400 they already have available.

Coronavirus cases in Paris and its suburbs now account for about a quarter of the 11,000 cases across France, with around 250 patients now in intensive care, up from 50 just five days ago. The death toll at the time of writing stands at 450.

“We are working at full speed to ramp up the number of intensive care beds,” Antoine Vieillard-Baron, head of the surgical and medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the University Hospital Ambroise Pare, told a conference call with reporters.

“The peak of the epidemic is expected at the start of April, but it’s not precise and we are expecting a flood of sick people this weekend and next week,” he said.

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“We are in an exceptional situation where the organisation of our hospitals is totally disrupted. We know this war will last several weeks, if not more,” said Remi Salomon, doctor and representative of the Paris public health system.

The officials said they were looking to double Paris’ intensive care capacity to about 1,000 beds by this weekend, including 600 for coronavirus patients.

Image: Muffingg via wikipedia.

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