Published on : Tuesday, February 25, 2020
France Health Minister Olivier Véran said that the objective is to have at least one hospital prepared for the virus per urban area.
After an important conference of ministers with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Mr. Véran said: “Until now we have had [only] 38 health establishments prepared to welcome ill people – basically university hospitals [centres hospitaliers universitaires; CHUs].”
“I have decided, in agreement with the Prime Minister, that 70 establishments with a SAMU [urgent response team, service d’aide médicale urgente] will be activated tomorrow to increase our response capacity if necessary,” he added.
Mr. Véran said that France is also planning to increase its “testing capacity”, including increasing the test methods, as well as ordering “large quantities” of protection masks.
He opined, “We are acting quickly and decisively in the face of the threat of an epidemic…We are taking all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the French people.”
Mr. Véran said that he has spoken with his Italian and German counterparts to bring together the response, with recent cases of the virus being confirmed in Italy.
However, he said that there would be “no sense” in closing the French border with Italy.