While measures and governmental announcements follow one another to supervise the confinement in France, as for hospitals, councils of war are held. The evolution of cases in France follows Italy’s worrying curve, letting tension rise and with it, a scenario like in Italy.
On the frontline of the fight against coronavirus, the lives of doctors and health caregivers who endure a high risk of contamination. Cases have been reported in the medical staff. “We already have one proven case and a symptomatic colleague they refused to test” a hospital nurse says. On Monday March 23rd, 2020, three doctors died of coronavirus in France. Hospitals are currently getting ready for a wave of cases said to arrive between now and early April.
What about treatments and means? Well, confinement effects are not immediate. But support and promises start to come: the Île-de-France region lends empty board school beds, cosmetic companies gives hand sanitizer to hospitals for free… and it would potentially help hospitals fighting about the overload of patients knowing an epidemic wave is yet to come.
Could the solution be chloroquine? According to the head of the University Hospital Institute Méditerranée Infection in Marseilles Didier Raoult, plaquenil – an anti-malaria treatment – could have promising effects on people infected by coronavirus. Yet, this result is to be taken lightly as trials have been conducted and results haven’t been confirmed yet. The effects of chloroquine on coronavirus will be observed on a wider scale these upcoming days.
Yet, using such a medication is at the heart of a debate. During his press conference on the coronavirus epidemic this Monday March 23rd, 2020, Health Minister Olivier Véran ordere a decree to control the use of chloroquine, excluding classic authorization. He adds that "the High Public Health Council recommends not using chloroquine in lack of recommendation, excluding bad cases, hospital cases and by collective decision of the doctors and under strict medical monitoring".
In the meantime, the medical staff encourages everyone to be highly cautious and thoroughly respect the health recommendations.