France’s Health Ministry has asked regional health agencies and hospitals to enter “crisis organisation” to prepare for a possible surge in coronavirus cases as a result of highly contagious variants, Le Journal Du Dimanche reported.
The move, which would echo measures taken in March and November when France went into lockdown, involves increasing the number of hospital beds available, delaying non-urgent surgery and mobilising all medical staff resources.
“This crisis organisation must be implemented in each region, regardless of the level of hospital stress and must be operational from Thursday Feb. 18,” the DGS health authority said in a memo cited by the newspaper on Sunday.
The DGS said in an emailed response to Reuters that the memo reflected an “anticipatory approach” in view of ongoing pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Its goal is to mobilise all health players in the country in case there is a flare-up in the epidemic, which can happen as virus variants circulate,” it said.