Evening Update Tuesday 19 January 2021

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that "200 to 300" new cases of Covid19 per day are believed to be carriers of the so-called British variant. He said that regional health agencies are tracing "chains of infection".

M. Veran said that France has recorded about 20,000 coronavirus infections per day for several weeks. He said that "there is no resurgence of the epidemic, but this high plateau is not satisfactory". He added that the 6 p.m. confinement is beginning to take effect.

Speaking to French media this morning the minister said that he expects 2.4 million people in France to have received a vaccine by the end of February, a figure which could rise to four million if the Astra Zeneca vaccine and other vaccines were given approval. He said the system for making vaccination appointments would be improved. The exact number of doses of vaccines at each vaccination centre across France will be published each week. Doses at a regional and departmental level will also be made public, with the first numbers being published on the sante.fr website later this week.

Meanwhile, the French Ministry of Health has said that there have been 139 reports of "serious or unexpected" adverse reactions in France since the start of the vaccination campaign. Five people had died after being vaccinated, all of them being over 75 years of age and suffering from co-morbidities. However, it hasn't been possible at this stage to establish if their deaths were linked to the vaccine.

The hospital in Antibes has released its weekly update of coronavirus figures. In the week from January 11 to 17   36 patients were hospitalized because of the coronavirus including 8 in intensive care. There were 6 deaths of patients aged between 81 and 90 years old. The municipality also published the results of  tests carried out at Fort Carré during the previous week. 2,170 tests were performed on symptomatic subjects and priority contacts with 7.14% being positive.

In other news, a refuse collector has died after being crushed by his refuse truck. The incident occurred early this morning in Le Plan-de-la-Tour in the Var. An investigation has been opened.

The winter sales are due to get underway across France tomorrow. The sales, which were originally scheduled to begin on 8 January but were postponed because of the health crisis, run until 16 February.

 

BUSINESS

Passenger car registrations in the EU fell by 23.7% in 2020 according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.  It was the biggest yearly drop in car demand since records began, with new-car registrations falling by 3 million units compared to 2019. All 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines throughout 2020. Among the region’s biggest car markets, Spain posted the sharpest fall at 32.3%, followed by Italy on 27.9% and France which was down by 25.5%.

The EU agency with responsibility for civil aviation safety has said that Boeing's 737 Max plane will get final clearance to resume flying next week. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency suspended all flights of the plane in March 2019 after two fatal crashes.

The International Energy Agency has said that it expects global oil demand to recover by 5.5 million barrels per day in 2021, following an unprecedented collapse of 8.8 million barrels per day in 2020. It said that, for now, a resurgence in Covid-19 cases is slowing the rebound but a widespread vaccination effort and an acceleration in economic activity is expected to spur stronger growth in the second half of the year.

 

SPORT

Cricket... Australia have suffered their first defeat at the Gabba since 1988 as India won the fourth Test by three wickets to take the series. Needing 328 India clinched victory with three overs to spare.

Tennis... Three more people involved with the Australian Open have tested positive for the coronavirus. The State of Victoria said that they were two players and one non-playing participant.

Football... AC Milan have signed Croatian Mario Mandzukic. The 34 year old former Juventus player is joining AC Milan on a free transfer until the end of the season with the option for an extra year.

There are two games in the English Premier League tonight. West Ham play West Brom and Leicester play Chelsea. There’s one rearranged FA Cup third round tie. Southampton host Shrewsbury Town.

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