We are still very far from the “hundreds” of medical evacuations mentioned by the government to reduce the pressure on hospitals in the regions most affected by this third epidemic wave.
According to a provisional report sent to AFP by the Ministry of Health, less than 40 Covid-19 patients hospitalized in intensive care have been transferred out of their region since mid-March.
Olivier Véran: "We are not preventing the French from going out"
More specifically, between March 13 and 23, only 38 Covid patients in critical care were transferred to another region or country, according to the Directorate General of Health.
Most of these operations were carried out in metropolitan France, from Île-de-France (13 evacuated patients), Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (12) and Hauts-de-France (9) to Occitanie (14 patients received), Brittany (9), Pays de la Loire (7) and New Aquitaine (5).
Almost all of these patients were transported by air, plane (19) or helicopter (12), and very few by ambulance (3).
There are also two patients evacuated by the Hauts-de-France road to Belgium, and two others by plane from Mayotte to Reunion.
Too weak patients, reluctant families
Two weeks ago, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, counted on “dozens, even hundreds” of transfers just for Île-de-France.
In the process, the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, had announced "a hundred" medical evacuations from the Paris region, which should have been effective last week.
There are two pitfalls in this plan: few patients are stable enough to be transferred, and most families are against it.
It is for these reasons that the use of medicalized TGVs has been postponed indefinitely.
"There is no TGV planned, because that supposes finding 48 patients to fill it", recognizes Aurélien Rousseau, director of the regional health agency of Ile-de-France, in an interview with Le Figaro published on Thursday. .
Noting 16 patients evacuated to date (3 more than the DGS), the director of the Ile-de-France ARS affirms that "the tension will lead to accelerate" to "free up beds" in order to "ensure care. of those who arrive in emergency and cannot be transported ”.
Tense situation also in Hauts-de-France
In addition, in Hauts-de-France, a region also subject to re-containment, hospitalizations have exceeded the levels reached during the first two waves of the epidemic, announced Thursday the Regional Health Agency for this region.
"The hospital situation remains very tense in Hauts-de-France with 60 to 70 people entering intensive care and Covid intensive care every day," said the ARS in a press release.
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In all, "3,281 Covid + people are currently hospitalized in the region, thus exceeding the two previous waves" and "the very active circulation of the virus results in a clear increase in hospital admissions", warns the Agency.
Since the beginning of March, 38 patients in intensive care have been transferred to Belgium, Normandy, Brittany and New Aquitaine and these transfers "remain essential" to continue to welcome Covid and non-Covid patients, underlines the ARS des Hauts -of France.
Faced with this situation, the ARS "asked the establishments to continue increasing resuscitation and intensive care capacities, with an objective which could be increased to 950 beds by the end of the week", while the region had 460. intensive care beds before the health crisis.
This new rise in power "would come at the cost of new deprogramming of interventions making it possible to free up reception capacities and / or specialized human resources", underlines the ARS.
The Agency sees a glimmer of hope in the acceleration of vaccination against Covid-19 and the fact that "regional vaccination coverage in the general population (having received at least one dose) is 10.2% on March 22 , higher than the national average at 9.5% ”.