France Increases Pressure on Unvaccinated Amid Record Infections

(PARIS) — France’s government is forging ahead with efforts to increase pressure on unvaccinated people to get coronavirus shots, as the country reported 208,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday — a record fueled by the omicron variant.

Olivier Veran, Health Minister, defended Wednesday’s government proposal to restrict access to certain places, such as cinemas and theaters. It will be necessary to obtain the pass for long-distance and domestic trains.

Veran stated at a hearing in parliament that there are more than 2 people being tested positive for COVID-19 every minute due to the high number of cases. Veran estimates that approximately 10% of French people have been in close contact with someone infected by the virus in the last year.
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Speaking to those not vaccinated, he said: “There is really little chance that this time you can escape (COVID-19): The virus is spreading too fast.” Veran said that in Paris public hospitals, 70% of people hospitalized in intensive care units aren’t vaccinated.

He also advised the most vulnerable people who didn’t get the vaccine booster shot yet to “protect yourself in the coming days. Don’t take risks.”

To reduce hospital overburdenment, the government is accelerating the implementation of the vaccine pass.

France has now vaccinated 77% its population. It is also distributing booster shots in an effort to fight omicron. More than 4million adults, plus more than 1,000,000 people older than 65 years old are still unvaccinated.

On Wednesday, more than 3400 COVID-19 victims were admitted to intensive care units. This is an increase of 10% in the week. Two thirds (or a quarter) of all ICU beds are occupied with people who have been infected by the virus. However, this number is still lower than the peak of the spring when approximately 6,000 COVID-19-infected patients required intensive care.

The government would like the vaccine to go into effect by mid-January.

The bill is likely to be voted on quickly in parliament, with President Emmanuel Macron’s party holding a majority at the National Assembly, which has the final say.

It will be approved and will prohibit people who have not been vaccinated from accessing areas where vaccines are required.

The bill provides for an exception to the pass — notably to take trains and planes — for people with family or health emergencies on condition they are able to present a negative test.

Those who aren’t vaccinated but have a proof of a recent COVID-19 recovery will be able to get a vaccine pass limited to a six-month period following infection.

Jean Castex, prime minister of Canada announced on Monday that a new set of steps was being taken to reduce the spread and spread of the virus. The government did not take any drastic measures, such as curfews and lockdowns. Instead, it appeared to try to find a compromise between the need to alleviate hospitals and maintain the economy.

From next week onwards, the number of people attending big events indoors will be restricted to 2000 and outdoor numbers limited to 5,000. In cinemas, sports facilities, and on public transport, eating and drinking are prohibited. This includes long-distance routes. For employees who have the opportunity to work remotely, it will become mandatory that they do this at least three times per week.


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