Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
French doctors say they are “disgusted” by images of busy streets in Paris teeming with people as the first phase of the government’s plan to end isolation begins.
The images show Parisians relaxing by the Saint-Martin Canal in the heart of the French capital on 11th May. The canal connects the Ourcq canal to the Seine River and is a popular location for tourists and Parisians alike.
The scenes led to the police needing to intervene at around 8pm. The images show people drinking beer by the canal, not wearing masks. The police deemed that social distancing was not being respected.
The images also resulted in Interior Minister Christophe Castaner requesting and being granted a ban on alcohol consumption along the canal.
The Interior Minister said on Twitter: “The success of the end of isolation depends on everyone’s prudence and civility. Faced with the irresponsibility of the behaviour of some people, I have asked the head of police to ban the consumption of alcohol along the Saint-Martin canal and the waterways on the banks.”
Reacting to the images, doctors from the Mulhouse hospital, in the eastern French department of Haut-Rhin, and which has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, told local media on 13th May of their “fear” about the “disgusting” images, especially in Paris, of people breaking the social distancing rules on the first days of the end of lockdown.
Dr Philippe Guiot, the head of intensive care at the Mulhouse hospital, said during a press conference: “This behaviour we can see, it generated concern.”
He added: “A second wave cannot be ruled out.”
He also said: “My concern as a doctor is seeing behaviour that can lead to an increase in infected people, and I am aware that the healthcare workers are in a state of deep fatigue, and even exhaustion.”
Corinne Krencker, the head of the hospital also said she was “afraid” and “disgusted” by the scenes.
The French government have warned that should people not follow the rules, lockdown could be reinstated to avoid a new outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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