France is not planning to put the Paris region into lockdown even though the number of people with COVID-19 in intensive care is at its highest since November, the country’s health authorities said on Tuesday, March 9.

At Melun Hospital Centre, about 31 miles southeast of Paris, staff said they were at full stretch trying to monitor all the COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit.

The head of the intensive care unit, Dr. Moncef Monchi, said hospitals in the region were getting close to capacity.

In one of the intensive care bays at the hospital on Monday, Dr. Esther Mbakallu was intubating a patient under sedation — inserting a breathing tube that will pump extra oxygen into his airway. She said his condition had worsened so he needed mechanical help to breathe.

She said the patient was scared before he was sedated to have the tube inserted.

Medical staff members work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at the Melun-Senart hospital, near Paris, France, March 8, 2021.
Medical staff members work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at the Melun-Senart hospital, near Paris, France, March 8, 2021.
Reuters

Medical authorities in the Paris region, which accounts for about one-sixth of France’s population, ordered hospitals on Monday to cancel 40 percent of their regular activities to make space for critical COVID-19 patients.

The number of people treated in intensive care units for COVID-19 in France reached a 14-1/2-week-high on Monday at 3,849. The figure was almost 1,000 for the Paris region.

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