Evening Update Thursday 1 April 2021

French Minister of Health Olivier Veran has said that the peak of the epidemic could be reached in seven to ten days "if all goes well". Speaking to French media this morning he said that it would then take two more weeks to reach the peak of intensive care patients. He also announced the opening of a new intensive care facility in the Paris region.

The French National Assembly has approved the new coronavirus measures outlined by President Macron last night and confirmed in a speech this morning by Prime Minister Jean Castex. The vote in the National Assembly was 348 in favour and 9 against. The Senate also approved the measures this afternoon but there were a large number of abstensions.

Jean Castex told the Senate this afternoon that he was not in favour of postponing the elections currently scheduled to be held on June 13 and 20. He added that he would follow the recommendations of the Scientific Council on the matter.

More than 70% of people approve of the main measures announced by President Macron last night, according to a survey for Franceinfo and Le Figaro. The survey also suggested that 46% intend to break the rules.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said today that he is in favour of what he called a "hard, effective and short confinement for 15 days". He said that the health situation is degenerating once again and "we must put an end to half-measures".

One of France's biggest cycling events has been postponed because of the health situation. The Paris-Roubaix race was scheduled to take place on 11 April but will now be held on 3 October, with the women's race on 2 October.

In other news, Alpes-Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti and President of the Alpes-Maritimes departmental council Charles Ange-Ginesy have written to President Macron asking for the government to honour its financial commitments after Storm Alex. They said that the cost of works is estimated to be one billion euros but only 26 million euros has been received from the state out of at least 100 million euros promised.

Premises in areas of Juan-les-Pins have been affected by a cut in water supplies today. A major fracture in a drinking water pipe occurred this morning near La Pinède. The Sophia Antipolis Agglomeration said it was doing everything in its power to restore supplies as soon as possible. If you're affected, you can call a number for more information. It's 04.83.59.80.40.

Firefighters have said that they are doing a controlled burn of undergrowth in two areas today and for local residents not to be concerned if they see smoke. The areas are near Pierrefeu and in Douans in the Municipality of Saint-Etienne-de-Tinee.


BUSINESS

A widely watched survey of purchasing managers in the UK manufacturing sector has registered a 10 year high in March. The IHS Markit survey showed business sentiment was at its highest for seven years. Almost two-thirds of manufacturers expect output to rise over the coming year and only 6% expect a contraction. Jobs growth was also at a seven-year high, supported by the sharpest rise in backlogs of work for 11 years. However, the survey also showed that supply chain issues remained a constraint on UK manufacturers during March. Meanwhile, the IHS Markit PMI survey in the Eurozone showed that the bloc's manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace in nearly 24 years of data collection during March. However, the expansion was also accompanied by severe delays to input deliveries, driving a sharp increase in costs.

The world's largest contract microchip manufacturer TSMC has announced plans to invest $100bn over the next three years to increase its capacity. The Tiawanese company had already announced spending of up to $28bn this year to develop and produce advanced microchips. Worldwide chip shortages have recently affected production at several major car manufacturers.

 

SPORT

Football... Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is expected to miss both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool because of injury. Ramos said he noticed the problem with his calf while training after Spain's match against Kosovo.

Rugby Union... New Zealand captain Sam Cane is out for up to six months because of an injury sustained in a match last weekend. He'll have surgery next week with an expected recovery time of four to six months.

Athletics... The first seven members of the Team GB athletics squad for the Tokyo Olympics have been confirmed. Chris Thompson and Stephanie Davis have been selected alongside Ben Connor, Callum Hawkins, Jess Piasecki and Steph Twell in the men's and women's marathons. Tom Bosworth has been selected for the 20km race walk.

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