The coronavirus outbreak in France is “very worrying” and “deteriorating very fast”, the head of the country’s health service said on Monday.
“The number of cases doubles every three days,” Jerome Salomon said on France Inter, adding that the number of seriously ill patients and those needing intensive care “runs into hundreds”.
That was a jump of 36 deaths and over 900 cases in 24 hours. More than 400 people have been hospitalised in a serious condition.
“There is a real worry that the speed of the outbreak could saturate hospitals and this is something we absolutely want to avoid,” Salomon said, singling out the badly affected eastern region of Alsace near Germany and the greater Paris area.
“This is why we must do everything to slow down the outbreak,” he said.
“Each Frenchman and Frenchwoman must tell themselves every morning: how can I reduce by a third or fourth the number of people I approach? Remain at home, it’s as simple as that.”