Dr Benjamin Clouzeau, an ICU doctor at Bordeaux Hospital, explained that patients were ten years younger than during the second coronavirus wave in France and also had few or no underlying health conditions. Dr Clouzeau was seeing more of these patients ending up in ICU wards which he predicts is because those who fall ill can initially fight the disease but deteriorate quickly so need intensive care. He added that the French population was overburdened with data but conceptualised the deaths by comparing it to a full commercial plane crash happening every day.
Speaking to Euronews, Dr Clouzeau said: “Patients are about ten years younger than during the second wave, they’re between 30 and 65 years old.
“They have few or no underlying health conditions and maybe some overweight, but they’re not obese, they’re simply overweight.
“A few of them have diabetes but that’s far from the majority so they’re young which is somehow positive for us because they have resources.
“That also explains in my mind why they end up in the ICU so suddenly without having first seen the GP.
“Because they initially have the energy to fight this off at home until they’re totally exhausted.
“So when they arrive in hospital they immediately go to the ICU – it’s both a strength and a weakness.
“For the past year, French people have been bombarded with data and daily death tolls and we don’t always realise what these figures mean.
“300-400 deaths every day, it’s like a plane crashing every day and people don’t realise this anymore.
“A few weeks ago, the people dying were very old and somehow we accepted that as a society.
“And now we’re down to 200-300 deaths a day but it’s not all old people dying anymore.
“These are people who still had 30 or 40 years to live and we must not get used to these numbers or the fight is lost – so let’s not forget that a plane crash every day is a big deal.”
French President Emmanuel Macron imposed another national lockdown last weekend to try and curb the spread of new COVID-19 variants and cases.
But French citizens have been confused by the new rules which introduced exceptions and new curfews that were different from the last lockdown.
For example, chocolatiers and flower shops remain open to help “French morale”.
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Some hospitals in Paris have resorted to airlifting or sending patients via train to hospitals in more rural regions of France to ease the burden on their resources.
France has also been one of the hardline cheerleaders for implementing a vaccine export ban to countries with high vaccination rates.
The European Commission is concerned over vaccine supply as they say AstraZeneca is not meeting its contractual obligations.
But earlier this month, many European countries paused the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine over fears it caused fatal blood clots.
Some countries have now reversed their decision based on new research but vaccine hesitancy remains a big issue on the continent.
Insiders at AstraZeneca reportedly said the company would not consider repeating its at-cost model for future pandemics due to the anguish they have been given and the profitability of their rivals.