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Paris doctors warn of catastrophic overload of virus cases

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Critical care doctors in Paris say that surging coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick, possibly forcing them to choose which patients to treat

PARIS — Critical care doctors in Paris say surging coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick in the French capital’s hospitals, possibly forcing them to choose which patients they have the resources to treat.

But with infections soaring and hospitals increasingly running short of intensive care beds, doctors have been stepping up the pressure for a full French lockdown.

The Paris-region doctors who wrote in Le Journal du Dimanche said: “We have never known such a situation, even during the worst (terror) attacks” that targeted the French capital, notably assaults by Islamic State extremists in 2015 that killed 130 people and filled Paris emergency wards with the wounded.

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The doctors predicted that softer new restrictions imposed this month on Paris and some other regions won’t quickly bring the resurgent epidemic under control. They warned that hospital resources won’t be able to keep pace with needs, forcing them to practice “catastrophe medicine” in the coming weeks as cases peak.

“We already know that our capacity to offer care will be overwhelmed,” they wrote. “We will be obliged to triage patients in order to save as many lives as possible. This triage will concern all patients, with and without COVID, in particular for adult patients’ access to critical care.”

“We were right not to implement a lockdown in France at the end of January because we didn’t have the explosion of cases that every model predicted,” Macron said last week. “There won’t be a mea culpa from me. I don’t have remorse and won’t acknowledge failure.”

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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