France’s coronavirus death toll jumps as nursing homes included

France’s coronavirus death toll jumps as nursing homes included
A provisional tally showed the coronavirus had killed a further 884 people in nursing homes and other care facilities. (AFP)
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Updated 03 April 2020

France’s coronavirus death toll jumps as nursing homes included

France’s coronavirus death toll jumps as nursing homes included
  • More than two thirds of all the known nursing home deaths have been registered in the Grand Est region, which abuts the border with Germany

PARIS: The coronavirus death count in France surged to nearly 5,400 people on Thursday after the health ministry began including nursing home fatalities in its data.
Jerome Salomon, head of the health authority, said the pandemic had by Thursday claimed the lives of 4,503 patients in hospitals, up 12% on the previous day’s 4,032. A provisional tally showed the coronavirus had killed a further 884 people in nursing homes and other care facilities, he added.
This makes for a total of 5,387 lives lost to coronavirus in France — an increase of 1,355 over Wednesday’s cumulative total — although data has not yet been collected from all of the country’s 7,400 nursing homes.
“We are in France confronting an exceptional epidemic with an unprecedented impact on public health,” Salomon told a news conference.
More than two thirds of all the known nursing home deaths have been registered in the Grand Est region, which abuts the border with Germany.
It was the first region in France to be overwhelmed by a wave of infections that has rapidly moved west to engulf greater Paris, where hospitals are desperately trying to add intensive care beds to cope with the influx of critically ill patients.
The care sector has called for blanket testing for all staff, with the virus often entering these homes through employees. More than 1 million people live in France’s care homes.
“We have to limit the impact on old people as we know that they are the most fragile,” said Romain Gizolme, head of an association for the care of the elderly.


Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Updated 04 December 2020

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

COTABATO, Philippines: Dozens of militants aligned with the Daesh group opened fire on a Philippine army detachment and burned a police patrol car in a southern town but withdrew after troops returned fire, officials said Friday.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in Thursday night’s brief attack by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Piang town. Nevertheless it sparked panic among residents and rekindled fears of a repeat of a 2017 militant siege of southern Marawi city that lasted for five months before being quelled by government forces.
“We are on top of the situation. This is just an isolated case,” regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said in a statement.
Security officials gave differing statements on the motive of the 30 to 50 gunmen. Some said the militants targeted Datu Piang’s police chief over a feud but others speculated that the militants wanted to project that they are still a force to reckon with by attacking the army detachment in the center of the predominantly Muslim town.
Officials denied earlier reports that the militants managed to seize a police station and burn a Roman Catholic church.
When reinforcement troops in armored carriers arrived and opened fire, the militants fled toward a marshland, military officials said.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is one of a few small armed groups waging a separatist rural insurrection in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation. The groups opposed a 2014 autonomy deal forged by the largest Muslim rebel group in the south with the Philippine government and have continued on and off attacks despite being weakened by battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism.
The armed groups include the Abu Sayyaf, which has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization for kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and bombings.