Christian Chenay is almost old enough to remember the 1918 Spanish flu, and treated typhus sufferers during World War Two. Now, as he nears his 99th birthday, the French doctor is still caring for patients through the coronavirus epidemic.

Dr Chenay holds virtual consultations for patients, some of whom he has treated for decades, over the phone and internet, and is back to making weekly visits to a retirement home for clergy after a brief spell in quarantine.

But he had to halt appointments in his surgery in Chevilly-Larue, a Paris suburb, last month after two patients turned aggressive, demanding he hand over his small supply of face masks.

It was soon afterwards that he put himself into a two-week long quarantine after presenting Covid-19 symptoms.

Originally from Angers in western France, Dr Chenay worked as a welder before becoming a doctor, ultimately qualifying as a radiologist before moving back into general practice.

He said France's lack of preparedness has left him frustrated and struggling to comprehend how a western power during peacetime could struggle to look after its sick.

Many of his patients say they struggle to get appointments in Chevilly-Larue, which has three doctors for a population of 19,000.

Before he closed his drop-in surgery, they would queue early to see Dr Chenay, who promised to see the first 20 patients.

People in his town are having difficulty seeing a doctor, he says, as the coronavirus suffocates France's healthcare system.

Even with no health woes of his own - he doesn't even wear glasses during his consultations - Dr Chenay knows just how dangerous the coronavirus is for the elderly, including himself.

But having first visited the church's local care home in 1951, and with no known coronavirus cases inside, he says he cannot turn his back on a seven decade-long relationship, even as across France such homes emerge as a vulnerable frontline in the pandemic.