French Families Sue Government Over Nursing Homes Deaths


A Paris court held a hearing Wednesday in a class-action effort to hold French health authorities and companies accountable after it was revealed that 25,000 with the Wuhan virus died in nursing homes.

The hearing is a first step in likely a years-long legal marathon. Families hope it shines a light on what went wrong last year as the virus devastated France’s oldest generation.

It targets several nursing homes, the national health agency DGS, the Paris public hospital authority and others.

Official figures show that nearly 25,000 people with the virus have died in French nursing homes out of more than 87,000 lives lost nationwide — a death toll still climbing by hundreds every day.

But thousands of other French nursing home residents who contracted Wuhan virus died after being hospitalized, and studies suggest they make up as many as half of France’s overall virus victims.

That is among the highest proportions worldwide.

The lockdown extended to mid-April

France is preparing for a possible easing of coronavirus restrictions from mid-April as it banks on an acceleration of its vaccination campaign against the pandemic, government spokesman Mr. Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

We will still face hard times, it is true, but for the first time in months, the return to more normal living conditions is in sight, Attal told reporters following a meeting of the French cabinet.

It is neither a distant nor uncertain horizon – it is an horizon that is getting closer and closer. We hope maybe from mid-April, and we are preparing for it, he said.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Mr. Olivier Veran said France will retain its current measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, including a nighttime curfew, as a bare minimum for the next four to six weeks.

Other measures now in force include the closure of bars, restaurants, museums, sports and music venues.

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