Thousands of people gathered this Saturday in Paris to protest against the health pass — a vaccination certificate against covid-19 which is now mandatory to enter several places — and riot police reacted with tear gas.
Some 3,000 members of the security forces were deployed this morning around the French capital to face the third weekend of protests against the health pass, mainly along the Champs Elysees, to protect the avenue from an invasion of protesters sporadically violent.
At demonstrations against the document – which from August 9th it will be necessary to show to attend most public places in France -, are being held in several cities across the country, with four separate protests taking place in Paris alone.
With the increase in covid-19 infections and hospitalizations, the French parliament last Sunday approved the obligation to possess a pass to go almost everywhere from next month, and while polls show a majority of Frenchmen support the decision, opposition espoused by some Frenchmen has been fierce.
A health pass is a document that shows that the person has been vaccinated and is immunized against covid-19 or has a negative rapid test or evidence of recent recovery from the infection.
THE tension increased in front of the famous Moulin Rouge nightclub, in the north of Paris, in what appeared to be the biggest demonstration, with lines of police fighting the protesters and with sporadic clashes.
As the protesters headed east, police fired tear gas into the crowd, creating some confusion and causing some injuries.
Less fraught with tension, another demonstration took place in another area of Paris, led by the leader of the extreme right, Marine Le Pen, who gathered hundreds of people towards the Ministry of Health.
Among those who were not present today at the demonstrations was François Asselineau, leader of the anti-European Union Republican Popular Union party and a fervent activist against the health pass, but who this week fell ill with covid-19.
The French authorities decided to create the health pass following the increased number of infected, due to the Delta variant of the disease, considered more contagious and virulent.
Hospital pressure in France increases
The hospital pressure caused by covid-19 continues to grow in France, where, in the last 24 hours, a further 91 people have been hospitalized, 24 of which in intensive care, the country’s health authorities also announced.
According to official data, France now counts 1,099 patients hospitalized in intensive care, while 43 have died due to infection with the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus since Friday.
Hospitals have a total of 7,409 covid-19 patients, officials added, noting that the majority of inpatients are unvaccinated.
The situation is particularly tense in the non-continental French provinces, where the level of vaccination is lower.
In Martinique, a new confinement of the population was adopted to contain the upward curve of contagion, while patients began to be transferred to the metropolis in medical planes, and in other Caribbean islands, compulsory collection was imposed.
The covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 4,202,179 deaths worldwide, among more than 196.5 million cases of infection with the new coronavirus, according to the latest report by Agence France-Presse, released on Friday.