Evening Update Monday 5 April 2021

French health minister Olivier Veran has said that the number of patients in intensive care will continue to increase over the next three weeks. Speaking on French TV channel TF1 this afternoon he said that on average 40,000 people per day are testing positive but it's possible the peak of what he referred to as "the first wave" is being approached and he hoped the peak of people testing positive would be reached this week. He explained that there is always a delay of two to three weeks between the peak of infections and the peak of severe cases. As regards vaccinations, he said that there is no problem with logistics but there is a problem with deliveries. He confirmed that the government wishes to open vaccination for teachers, firstly for those who teach students with disabilities and then for other teachers and memebers of the national security forces.

According to Sante Publique France, as of  the 3rd of April, just over 9.25 million peple have received a Covid-19 vaccination so far. Locally, the prefect of the Var has said that over 200,000 vaccine injections have now been administered in the department. 17 centers are open in the Var during the week. Meanwhile, the latest figures show that over 100,000 vaccine doses have now been administered in Nice and the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropole.

Several French army training hospitals will begin administering vaccinations to their local populations as from tomorrow. The seven hospitals include ones in Toulon and Marseille.

The first plant in France to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine will begin production this Wednesday.  A factory in the Eure-et-Loire will produce the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine mostly using ingredients imported from Germany. Later this month a facility in the Indre-et-Loire is expected to start production of the Moderna vaccine. Further factories are scheduled to start production in France over the summer with the aim of producing a total of 250 million doses by the end of this year.

Health measures have been strengthened in the Var. The Prefecture said that a decree has been issued banning the following activities - the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use of amplified music on public roads, second hand goods sales, deliveries by bars and restaurants between 10.30pm and 6am, and the sale, carrying, transport and use of fireworks.

The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into illegal dining establishments in the capital. A report on TV channel M6 last Friday alleged that several luxury dining venues had been operating in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

In other news, a person has been arrested in connection with a stabbing in Nice in the early hours of this morning. The incident on the rue du Jesus in the old town was reported at 2.00am and the suspect was arrested just six minutes later on the Quai des Etats-Unis. Deputy Mayor Anthony Borre congratulated the police on the rapid arrest.

Seven people have been charged in conection with a  drugs smuggling opertation between the Bouches-du-Rhone and the Gard departments. A major operation took place involving several hundred law enforcement personnel which resulted in the seizure of 70kg of cocaine and 1.2 million euros in cash.

Dates have been announced for a trade show dedicated to business development for Logistics, Transport and Supply Chain professionals in Cannes. The event is scheduled to take place at the Palais des Festivals from 31 August to 2 September this year.


BUSINESS

LG Electronics has said it will close its smartphone business. The division has suffered several years of losses. In 2013 the South Korean company was the third largest smartphone maker in the world but it said that the mobile phone market has become "incredibly competitive".


SPORT

Football... West Ham's Declan Rice is expected to be out for four weeks because of injury. Rice has played in all of West Ham's Premier League matches this season. They have a match against Wolves this evening, kick off at 9.15pm our time.

Golf.... Brooks Koepka believes he can win the Masters despite having surgery on his right knee just three weeks ago. The 30 year old said he was back hitting balls seven days later and has played a few practice holes at Augusta National. The first men's major of 2021 begins at the club on Thursday.

Athletics... Scottish runner Beth Potter has run the second-fastest road 5km ever by a female athlete. Potter, who competed at the 2016 Olympics, clocked a time of 14 minutes 41 seconds at a race in Lancashire. The time may eventually be classified as a world record.

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