Inside an ICU battling France's third wave

Infections rates are climbing - again - and patients are arriving younger and sicker, with barely enough beds to treat them.

This is France's third wave of coronavirus, and the reality at this Intensive Care Unit.

Cambrai, in Northern France, is one of the hardest-hit areas of the country.

And as the so-called UK variant of the virus tightens its grip here, doctor Adryen Bisia says it's the worst it’s ever been.

"This is the hardest wave that we have lived through so far in the Cambrai region. We have around one patient out of three who are hospitalized in the hospital due to COVID. In intensive care, we have 22 patients occupying our 22 beds, and we still have patients with severe or very severe cases arriving in ambulances every day."

President Emmanuel Macron tightened COVID restrictions in much of northern France and the Paris region a week ago.

But he stopped short of the full lockdown that many hospitals had been calling for.

Macron and his government say strict confinements and school closures should be the last resort.

But many frontline workers, like anesthetist Caroline Tesse, say that moment has already passed.

"Regarding the COVID-19 epidemic, I think that unfortunately, it's too late, everyone is infecting each other. So, a lockdown now, I don't think it's going to change a lot of things, and in any case, we're already overloaded. I don't even know what could happen to make it more overloaded. Then, I think we would, unfortunately, need to transfer patients when we wouldn't be able to take them in locally anymore."