More than half of French nurses are close to burning out, according to a survey of nearly 60,000 of them published on Sunday, which found they were struggling with cancelled holidays and increased work due to coronavirus.
The survey carried out by the national French nursing union found that 57 percent of respondents reported being in a “state of professional exhaustion”, up from 33 percent before the global Covid-19 pandemic struck France early in 2020.
The findings underline the strains being felt in the healthcare sector in Europe, which came under unprecedented pressure during the first wave of infections and now faces another surge in admissions.
The results are also likely to increase pressure on the centrist French government of President Emmanuel Macron, with more than a third of nurses saying their departments were understaffed compared to normal, and two thirds saying working conditions have deteriorated since the start of the pandemic.
One in five nurses said they had been unable to take a holiday since March.
“While there are 34,000 vacant nurses’ positions at this time in 2020… the degraded working conditions mean we risk seeing even more nurses throwing in the towel,” the union said in its statement.
PARIS (AP) — Four French cities have joined Paris and Marseille in the maximum alert status to fight the spread of the coronavirus, and it appeared likely that the list would soon grow as infections soar.
Bars shut down and other severe measures are ordered under maximum alert.
PARIS (AP) — Over the course of a single overnight shift this week, three new COVID-19 patients were rushed into Dr. Karim Debbat’s small intensive care ward in the southern French city of Arles. His service now has more virus patients than during the pandemic’s first wave, and is scrambling to create new ICU beds elsewhere in the hospital to accommodate the sick.
Similar scenes are playing out across France. COVID-19 patients now occupy 40% of ICU beds in the Paris region, and nearly a quarter in ICUs nationwide, as several weeks of growing infections among young people spread to vulnerable populations.
Video: Serena pulls out of French Open with Achilles injury (Reuters)
Novak Djokovic is still in the French Open – but only after a drawn-out struggle in four sets on Wednesday night against Pablo Carreño Busta, the Spaniard who cashed in at the US Open when the world No 1 was disqualified for striking a line official with a spare ball. It was not a joyous reunion.
A month after their shared New York drama, Carreño Busta had notions of winning on his own merits after taking the first set of the second quarter-final on day 11, but Djokovic ignored nagging pain in his upper left arm and his neck as he cobbled together a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win in 3hr 10min under the lights on Court Philippe Chatrier. He has two days to recover before playing Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday, and he will need every waking hour of them.
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If the 2016 champion is to win the title again he has to beat injury, an in-form Tsitsipas and, probably, the 12-time champion, Rafael Nadal, who plays Diego Schwartzman in the other semi-final. It is the sort of mountain Djokovic loves climbing, but the question remains: is he fit and strong enough to reach the summit?
Djokovic was cleared to play in Rome, where he beat Schwartzman in the final, and in Paris after testing positive for coronavirus on his Balkans exhibition tour earlier in the summer – but he looked a physical mess in the first set. Sweating and anxious, he grimaced, tugged at his arm and bandaged neck and tried to bang life into his upper legs with his racket as his opponent waited for his chances.
The tournament physio massaged Djokovic’s arm during the break and the player told him: “It feels better now.” Yet he did not look remotely comfortable, even when he got his serve working and levelled at a set apiece. The trainer returned between the third and fourth games, and it seemed to lift Djokovic’s spirits. Just when he looked as if he was slipping into a confused state again, he bounced back to level at a set apiece.
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He broke early in the third, overcame a blip when Carreño Busta broke back for 2-3, then hit hard again to go a set up. But he looked far from commanding. Carreño Busta dug his heels into the Roland Garros clay in the fourth, and Djokovic had to fight for every point. Carreño Busta chose a woeful option to hand him the break for 3-4, Djokovic saved break point to hold through deuce
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