French and Riviera News Monday 18th May 2020

Toddler falls from 2nd floor apartment - A two-year-old boy has been air lifted to hospital in Marseille after falling from a second-floor apartment in Saint Maximin. The boy’s condition is reported to be stable. The circumstances of the accident remain unknown.

Meanwhile a second similar incident occurred on Sunday in Frejus, in the Var, when a 17-month-old girl fell from the second floor of a building located on avenue Victor-Hugo

The child was  rescued by emergency services and taken to the Lenval hospital in Nice.

According to the investigation, the girl, who was on the balcony at the time, evaded her parents attention before climbing on the railing and losing her balance.

Primary school closed in Nice after child tests positive - A primary school in Nice has been closed after a child tested positive for Covid-19. The closure of the Nazareth primary and nursery school on rue Pessicart in Nice was ordered by the regional health agency and the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi. The school is expected to be closed until May 26th.

Schools reopen – Meanwhile across France students in grades 6 and 5 are back in class today. Some 4,000 establishments in departments classified as "green zones" will welcome students, however for middle school students from the four regions in the "red zone", they will have to wait until the end of the month to find out if they will resume their lessons.

Italy - And Italy begins the "phase 2" of its deconfinement, today, with the reopening of shops, cafes and terraces. The country, the first in the world to have adopted a total lockdown of its population, benefits from a first partial lifting of restrictions since May 4th.

Coronavirus - Sunday claimed one new victim of the virus in the Alpes Maritimes. To date 457 people have died in both the Alpes Maritimes and the Var from Covid-19.

162 people remain hospitalised in the Alpes-Maritimes, including 14 in intensive care

In the Var, 169 are in hospital of which 16 are in intensive care.

Health Minister new support plan for health workers - Olivier Veran France’s Health Minister, has said he is working on a new support plan for hospitals and healthcare workers, including pay raises and revised working hours and conditions for those on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Veran said he would begin consultations on 25th May with health representatives and other partners to ensure workers are adequately compensated for the risks they have been subjected to in helping to combat the coronavirus.

The new support plan is to include a pay raise for essential health workers in addition to recent bonuses they have already received.

France reported 483 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 28,108, as the country eases out of a two-month lockdown.

Nicotine products - While France has made moves to prevent the stockpiling of nicotine products after its health minister took an interest in a French study that suggested smokers may be much less at risk of contracting the virus. Doctors in Wales who published their own research in January on the use of the stimulants in coronavirus treatment have been discussing the possibility of a formal trial.

Beaches - Many beaches in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes reopened at the weekend, for individual sporting activities.  As of this today in Cap-d'Ail, authorization has been given for access to the Marquet beach however, beach Mala remains closed due to lack of manpower making it impossible to guarantee security surveillance.

At beach Marquet access to the sea is only authorized for swimming from 8 am to 5 pm, and the maximum swimming time is limited to one hour in a dedicated area there is security surveillance 7 days a week from 8am to 5pm.

WHO - The World Health Organisation has warned that spraying or fumigating disinfectant on the streets, as some countries do, does not eliminate the new coronavirus and poses a health risk.

Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, several countries and some French municipalities such as Nice have used this controversial technique.

In the warning issued by the WHO today they say that
"Spraying or fumigating outdoor spaces, such as streets or markets, is not recommended to kill Covid-19 virus because the disinfectant is inactivated by dirt". Adding that "It is unlikely that the chemical spray will properly cover all surfaces for the duration of the contact time required to inactivate the virus and that the streets and sidewalks are not considered as reservoirs of infection of the Covid-19".

In France, this technique has been used in particular in Nice, Cannes, Reims, Suresnes and Asnières-sur-Seine.

Jackpot - A winning grid won a jackpot at the Euromillions in France of more than 72 million euros.

A nice surprise as lockdown is easing in France, a winning grid was validated at Euromillions, with 7 correct numbers (5 numbers + 2 stars). It is the second time for this to happen in France this year.

The winning numbers were 11 23 32 34 39 and lucky stars 1 and 6 for 72.9 million euros.

Business

The chair of the US Federal Reserve has said that the economy could easily contract by 20-30 percent during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with CBS on Sunday ,Jerome Powell said that the economic slump may last until late 2021 and that a full rebound might not happen until a vaccine is found.

Mr Powell expressed confidence that the economy would recover and said that he would never bet against the United States.

Last week ,the Fed chair called on US lawmakers to pass more economic stimulus and relief aid.

In Sunday’s interview ,Mr Powell said that unemployment could potentially peak at 25 percent and that the lowest paid workers and in particular women were being hurt worst by the downturn.

He said that it was a time of great suffering and difficulty and that it was impossible to put into words the pain that people are feeling.

 

Japan has fallen into recession as the financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic continues to increase.

The world’s third largest economy shrank by 3.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year-its biggest slump since 2015.

The pandemic is wreaking havoc on  the global economy with an estimated cost of up to 8.8 trillion dollars.

Last week ,Germany fell into recession as more and more major economies see the impact of sustained lockdowns.

Japan hasn’t gone into full lockdown but issued a state of emergency last month which has been seriously affecting supply chains and businesses.

Analysts expect the Japanese economy to contract by a massive 22 percent in the second quarter which would be its biggest decline on record.

 

And-The American department store JC Penney has filed for bankruptcy becoming the largest company to be hit by Covid-19.

The 118 year old store sells clothing , cosmetics and jewellery at more than 850 locations all over the US and employs around 80,000 people.

The firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection which will allow it to restructure even though it can no longer pay its debts.

There had been rumours that JC Penney was in trouble after it failed to make interest payments in April.

Some stores are set to close and thousands of jobs are likely to go.

Sport

Football-English Premier League clubs are hoping to get the green light for limited training to resume this week with a vote taken on training and medical protocols by the 20 top-flight clubs today.

If the vote is passed then players will be able to train in groups of 5 from tomorrow but there’s a feeling that the proposed 12th of June start-date for the resumption of matches behind closed doors may not be realistic.

A number of players have expressed reservations about returning to action.

Talks must also be held with police and safety committees following requests from clubs to play matches at home grounds rather than at neutral venues.

German football has returned with the eerie sight of players kicking the ball around in empty stadiums.

The leaders Bayern Munich maintained a 4 point lead over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table following a 2-0 win at U Berlin.

Bayern have 58 points with Dortmund on 54 and Borussia Monchengladbach in third place on 52 points with 8 games to go.

Rugby Union-The former Wales captain Gwyn Jones has said that it will be “months” before players will be Test-match fit following long lay-offs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Summer tours have now been officially called off with some leading figures hoping that internationals can be played again in October.

Jones says that the return will have to be slow and that playing an intense international will take some time following months off

Basketball-Michael Jordan’s autographed trainers have sold for a record 560,000 dollars in an online auction.

The Nike Air Jordan 1s which were worn by the star during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls had been expected to fetch between 100,000 and 150,000 dollars but the auction smashed the record.

The 1985 trainers which are mismatched as the player wore a size 13 on his left foot and a 13 and a half on his right were sold by Jordan Geller who founded the trainer museum Shoezeum in Las Vegas.

Weather

Clear skies with light south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 22-24 degrees.

Overnight lows of 19 degrees on the coast and 16 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy with highs of 23-25 degrees.

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