Evening Update Friday 17 April 2020

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 cou