Distribution of protective masks to residents and workers in Monaco is beginning today. The Monaco government says that distribution is starting today for people over 65 by teams from the Monaco City Council who already manage the distribution of meals at home. Each person will receive two washable and reusable masks for one month free of charge. The government has said that all other residents of the Principality will soon receive the same pack of masks by post. Regarding employees, the Government will register requests for masks. Companies will purchase these disposable surgical masks at cost. These single-use masks will also be sold in pharmacies and authorized shops. The Monaco government also gave an update on testing for Covid-19 in the Principality. A large number of tests have been ordered from various sources and as soon as they've been confirmed to be reliable, they will be used "on a large scale" in the coming weeks with the resident population and employees, whether symptomatic or not, in ways that have yet to be decided. Information about measures to fight the coronavirus can be found in English on a special Monaco government website https://covid19.mc/en/
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has also given an update on the provision of masks. He said today that starting next Monday, elderly, frail and isolated people will be provided with face masks by delivery to their home. He added that everyone in Nice will be provided with two protective masks by the 9th of May. The mayor has also announced today that, as from next week, the City of Nice will offer a basket of foodstuffs including fresh products, worth 25 euros, each week, to those aged over 65 years.
Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, has said this afternoon that in total over 1,000 crew in the "carrier strike group" of ships with the Charles de Gaulle have tested positive for the coronavirus. She said that 2,010 tests had been carried out, of which 1,081 are positive. 24 crew are still in a military hospital in Toulon and one is still in intensive care.
A scientist involved in controlling the spead of the coronavirus has said that holding the Tour de France in August and Sepember would be "a recipe for disaster". The postponed Tour is due to start in Nice on 29 August. Devi Sridhar, who is the chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh and also advises the Scottish government on the pandemic said that the virus is "here to stay and will come back". Quoted on the website www.cyclingnews.com she said that even if France "got a handle on it" by the start in August, the issue was people coming in from different countries. She said "there's definitely a risk that the Tour de France moving around and unwittingly spreading the virus could kick start a new lockdown" and suggested that it should be completely cancelled this year. Meanwhile, Dave Brailsford, the manager of Team Ineos has said that the team won't take part in the Tour if it thinks protection measures are not adequate. He said that the team are observing how things develop.
A new centre to accomodate homeless people with Covid-19 has opened in Le Pradet in the Var. The facility, which was formerly a holiday centre, is able to accomodate 70 people.
Another food market is re-opening in our area. The market in the Allee des Fleuristes in Vence will be open this Saturday and each Saturday from 8am to 1pm.
French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire has said that almost 9 million workers across France are on partial unemployment, which will cost the state 20 billion euros. He said that he viewed the sum as an investment which will help avert mass layoffs of workers.
Edouard Phillipe, the French Prime Minister, will give a press conference this weekend to update the public on the general situation regarding the pandemic, particularly concerning health measures. Scientists will also be present at the conference on Sunday afternoon, as will French minister of health Olivier Veran.
A man has given himself up to police after barracading himself in his apartment in Toulon this morning. Reports say that the man fired a gun and one person has been taken to hospital with an injury to their hand.
Inflation in the eurozone has fallen to 0.7% year on year. The European Central Bank has an inflation target of close to but below 2%.
The association representing the European auto industry has said that car registrations across the EU fell by 55.1% in the month of March. During the first quarter of this year, sales fell by 25.6%.
New data shows that the Chinese economy contracted in the first quarter of the year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The country's GDP fell by 6.8%, which is the worst performance since the official compliation of quarterly economic numbers began in the early 1990's.
Football.... .... Premier League clubs have been holding a meeting today to discuss the scheduling of matches for the rest of the season. The League said it remained their objective to complete matches but currently "all dates are tentative". They said that what they referred to as "possible scheduling models" were discussed at the meeting.
Norman Hunter, one of the best known Leeds United players from the 60's and 70's, has died from the coronavirus. Hunter was admitted to hospital last week. As well as being a key member of the club's legendary era under manager Don Revie, he was also part of the 1966 England World Cup squad. The club said in a statement today that "his legacy will never be forgotten".
The Professional Footballers' Association has said that it's seen an increase in the number of players who are seeking help with mental health issues since the lockdown began in the UK. It said that 299 players had sought support from the association in the first three months of this year and that it had seen concern from players over financial and gambling issues.
Rugby Union.. Wales coach Wayne Pivac has said that "2 or 3" players in the national sqaud have contracted coronavirus. He was speaking to media in New Zealand, where Wales are still scheduled to play two matches in July. Pivac didn't name the affected players but reports say that the players are believed to have recovered.