Evening Update Thursday 9 April 2020

French president Emmanuel Macron made an unnanounced visit to Marseille today. He visited the IHU Méditerranée hospital. It follows a visit earlier today to a teaching hospital in the southern suburbs of Paris where met teams involved in clinical research into the coronavirus. The visits by the President have been part of a fact finding and consultation excercise announced by the Elysee yesterday. M. Macron is due to address the nation this Monday evening, the 13th of April, shortly after 8pm to present decisions made concerning the fight against the epidemic for the next few weeks. The President has not yet specified a new duration of the confinement, but is expected to do so in his televised address.

The town hall in Cannes has annnounced that an extensive disinfection of an area of La Bocca will take place tomorrow (Friday) morning. Place Roubaud and surrounding areas will be disinfected by a pick-up type of vehicle propelling a disinfectant soution over a range of 15 meters,  a drone which will also spray the same disinfectant solution and two pedestrian agents equipped with backpack thermal sprayers. The disinfection will begin at 8am tomorrow. The Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, said that a "major disinfection" will be carried out at the end of confinement throughout the entire municipal territory of Cannes.

The Prefect of the Var, Jean-Luc Videlaine, has announced a tightening of the confinement measures. The opening of shops and commecial delivery and take away services will be prohibited from 9pm to 6am. The new rules are in operation until at least midnight on the 15th of April throughout the Var department. Service stations are not included in the new measures.

A union representing GPs across France has estimated that about 1.6 million people in France could have already contracted Covid-19. The estimate comes from extrapolating data gathered in a survey of over 2,000 GPs across the country. The survey results showed that just over 56,000 patients with the symptoms of Covid-19 were identified by GPs between March 17 and April 3. The union said that the estimate of 1.6 million infected people was consistent with what was known about the contagiousness of the virus.

French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner has requested that Covid-19 be declared an occupational disease for Ministry of the Interior employees. He said that 1,400 civil servants had been proved to have been affected by the virus. The move comes after a police union requested earlier this week that Covid-19 be classified as an occupational disease. M. Castaner also said today that the Ministry had ordered 40 million masks for police and gendarmes.

A French government spokesperson has said that decisions on wearing masks in public will be made on a national level "when the