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French Open plays on amid new coronavirus restrictions and after Alexander Zverev fever

On Saturday evening, France recorded nearly 17,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, its largest single-day increase since it began recording daily tallies. Authorities hope that new temporary restrictions will reduce pressure on hospitals, which have begun to see increases in patients admitted to intensive care wards.

“We are all aware that we are entering a new phase,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Monday, adding that the virus was here to stay for the immediate future. “We have to work together to protect the most vulnerable.”

Meanwhile, the French Open plays on.

Paris’s new restrictions throw the health protocols at the year’s final major tournament into sharp relief, and not just because of the virus raging outside the confines of Roland Garros.

On Sunday, recent U.S. Open runner-up Alexander Zverev said in a news conference that he had a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday and was feeling so sick that he should not have competed in his fourth-round match against Jannik Sinner, which he lost.

“What can I say? I’m completely sick. I can’t really breathe, as you can hear by my voice,” Zverev said Sunday.

Unlike at the U.S. Open, which was played in New York in September, players competing at the French Open are not living in a so-called bubble.

Players were tested upon arrival and are tested every five days thereafter, and everyone from Novak Djokovic on down must stay at a designated player hotel throughout the tournament. Players are prohibited from leaving the hotel when not competing at the risk of disqualification.

But the hotel, the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, is not being used exclusively for French Open players and members of their teams. Anyone who wishes to book a room can.

“I will not call it a ‘bubble,’ because [I] don’t think it’s a bubble,” Djokovic said after his 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round win over Karen Khachanov on Monday. “But it is a safe environment, controlled environment. We are obviously just operating in two locations between the hotel and tennis courts.”

The French Tennis Federation said Zverev did not make tournament officials aware of his symptoms before his match. Any lingering fever upon his arrival at the site Sunday would have gone undetected, because the tournament is not taking daily temperature readings from players.

The German, ranked seventh in the world, has not missed a test in Paris.

“Zverev is up to date on his tests, which have all been negative,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement. “His last test was on September 29, with results received on September 30. [Sunday] he received a reminder for his next test, to be carried out within 5 days of the previous results.”

On Sunday, tournament organizers said two players in the junior girls’ tournament beginning this week tested positive for the virus and were removed from the draw.

Zverev, who took a medical timeout during his match, said he regretted taking the court.

“To be honest, I warmed up today, I shouldn’t have

high fever, drops in oxygen, doctors say

President Donald Trump has suffered high fever and his oxygen levels have fallen at least twice as he has battled Covid-19, his doctors said Sunday.

Donald Trump sitting at a table in a kitchen: President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.

© Joyce N. Boghosian/White House
President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.

Following two briefings from Trump’s doctors over the weekend, more details about the course of his Covid-19 illness are emerging — but some questions still remain.


Since Trump announced his Covid-19 diagnosis on Twitter early Friday morning, his illness has had frequent “ups and downs,” White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.

On Thursday night and into early Friday morning, Conley said, the President “was doing well with only mild symptoms” and his oxygen level was in the high 90s — but then late Friday morning, “the President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” Conley said. A normal blood oxygen saturation level is 95% or higher.

The President initially was “fairly adamant that he didn’t need” oxygen. “He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it,” Conley said.

However, the President was given oxygen.

“And after about a minute on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour maybe, and was off and gone,” Conley said.

Later that Friday, Conley added, the President was out of bed, moving around the White House residence and had only mild symptoms.

On Friday afternoon, Conley said in a White House letter that Trump received a monoclonal antibody cocktail — an investigational immune system treatment from the biotechnology company Regeneron — and had taken zinc, vitamin D, the heartburn drug famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.

Some small studies have indicated famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid AC, might help improve recovery from Covid-19 but it wasn’t clear if that’s why Trump took it.

On Friday evening, the President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for evaluation and monitoring. Before leaving for the hospital, Trump recorded a video message announcing that he was being transported.

The President has remained without fever since Friday morning, Dr. Sean Dooley, one of Trump’s physicians, said during Sunday’s briefing. Doctors have not said whether they have given him fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Trump’s oxygen level transiently dipped again on Saturday.


“Yesterday there was another episode where it dropped down to about 93%,” Conley said on Sunday. “We watched it and it returned back up.”

Trump’s physicians decided to give him the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone, which has been shown to help patients with Covid-19 and is typically given to patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilation.

In the United States, dexamethasone has been used to treat some Covid-19 patients since early on in the pandemic —