germany mask
© Reuters
Germany is seeing record infection levels and ministers say they want to ensure families can get together for Christmas
French officials said Tuesday that tougher restrictions are looming to counter an alarming surge in Covid-19 cases as doctors warned many hospitals are just days away from being overrun with patients.

Comment: Hospitals have been warning since the first lockdown that they would be overwhelmed, and yet they weren't. And the only reason any of them are struggling to cope is because of austerity measures that have led to a lack of resources, and it's flu season, and this was the already the situation back in 2018.

President Emmanuel Macron is to address the nation on Wednesday evening to present new measures that will be decided at back-to-back meetings of the defence council and cabinet, the presidency said.

"We have to prepare for difficult decisions," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France Inter radio.

"At some point we have to make hard choices... as our neighbours have," he said, referring to strict new measures announced for Italy, Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

The French government has been loath to impose a new lockdown that would pummel the economy even harder, and business chiefs have warned a total shutdown would force another wave of layoffs and bankruptcies.

Comment: Macron actually said he wouldn't enforce another national lockdown because 'the collateral damage is considerable'.

Instead, the authorities imposed a curfew this month that now requires about 46 million people -- two-thirds of the population -- to be home from 9:00 pm to 06:00 am, as the number of daily virus cases has flared.

Media reports say Macron, who met on the topic with senior ministers Tuesday, might extend the curfew hours, possibly with a full lockdown on weekends, or else order targeted lockdowns for the hardest-hit regions.

Another option could be to postpone the return of students from the autumn holiday that ends this weekend, in particular to high schools and universities.

'Out of control'

Prime Minister Jean Castex, who met political party chiefs and union leaders Tuesday, said new measures against the coronavirus spread were "indispensible" and that the entire country must be mobilised in order to "protect French lives".

Castex will be responsible for presenting the government's decisions to parliament on Thursday.

France on Sunday recorded a grim record of 52,010 coronavirus infections in 24 hours.

On Tuesday, it reported more than 33,400 new cases and 523 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, as well as a net increase of 74 admissions to intensive care.

This brought the overall number of people in intensive care to 2,918, over half the country's overall capacity of 5,800.

Comment: It's flu season - although you wouldn't realise it from the statistics because it has been claimed that flu cases are down by 98% around the planet. That said, other countries that have locked down have admitted that these numbers are not unusual for this time of year. Also note there is no mention of deaths, because they are likely to be so few so as to expose the government narrative as baseless and its actions as tyrannical.

Some hospitals have been forced to start transferring patients to less-crowded facilities.

"The outbreak is out of control," the infectious disease specialist Gilles Pialoux at the Tenon hospital in Paris said on BFM television.

He urged the government to adopt "a drastic measure, call it a lockdown" for the entire country, despite the economic toll.

"The economy can bounce back, but you don't bounce if intensive care fails," he said.

More than 34,000 people have died of Covid-19 in France.

Comment: This number is highly dubious as governments have admitted 'exaggerating' the numbers. However, what is clearer, is that excess deaths caused by the lockdowns will likely equal if not exceed deaths by/with/presumed-to-be coronavirus.

On Monday, the head of the government's medical advisory panel Jean-Francois Delfraissy said the severity of the second coronavirus wave had taken the experts by surprise.

"This second wave will probably be worse than the first one," he said, and warned that "many of our fellow citizens don't yet realise what's coming."