Report faults France's Covid-19 response for seniors, says deaths 'well above European average'

·2-min read

A report that interviewed experts from the government, health care and scientific sectors criticised France's inadequate Covid-19 response for those living in care homes, noting people over 85 were worse affected in France than in Britain or the United States. The report also found that France's mortality rate was "well above the European average".

Five experts heard from around 200 representatives of the French government, the health care system and the scientific community to prepare the report, which was made public on Tuesday. It specifically criticised the government for not providing enough care for older adults living in retirement homes.

The report's authors concluded that people over age 85 were more heavily affected by Covid-19 in France than they were in either the United Kingdom or the United States.

But the report also acknowledges that the situation in France was not as bad as it was in countries such as Spain and Poland.

France has Europe's third-largest pandemic death toll after the UK and Italy, and infections have continued to rage in recent weeks.

“With 1,332 deaths per million inhabitants, it is well above the European average (1,092 deaths per million),” the report said of France's Covid-19 mortality rate. The authors attributed the high figures mainly to the first wave of the pandemic, which was particularly strong in parts of eastern France.

The report recommended improving the medical facilities in care homes and coordinating them better with support from hospitals.

France is preparing for a phased reopening starting on Wednesday. Groups of up to six will be able to eat as restaurant terraces will be allowed to open at 50-percent capacity, as will museums. Cinemas will re-open at 35-percent capacity, with no less than 400 films waiting to be screened alongside autumn releases that had their runs cut short. The curfew currently in place will also be pushed back from 7pm to 9pm.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)

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