French hospitals saturated by November 11 without new measures, French PM told lawmakers

Doctors treat a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Robert Ballanger hospital in Aulnay-sous-Bois near Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in France, October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - French hospitals’ intensive care units will be saturated with COVID-19 patients by November 11 if nothing is done to stop the epidemic in France, the French prime minister told lawmakers in a meeting behind closed doors, according to participants.

“He told us that on November 11, our hospitals will be at a saturation level equivalent to that of the first wave, so a level of extreme saturation,” lawmaker André Chassaigne told reporters after the meeting.

“So the situation is particularly serious. If we can’t flatten the curve, in the next 15 days, our hospitals won’t be able to treat patients,” he added.

Another lawmaker, Fabien Roussel, confirmed what Prime Minister Jean Castex had told party leaders. The prime minister did not say what measures they planned to take in response, the participants said.

President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to make a speech to the nation on Wednesday, at 1900 GMT, to address the health crisis. Sources told Reuters earlier tighter restrictions would be announced.

France reported 523 new deaths from coronavirus over the past 24 hours on Tuesday, the highest daily toll since April 22, health ministry data showed.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Geert De Clercq