Evening Update Wednesday 2 February 2022

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has said that the situation in hospitals remains "very fragile" and that more than 30,000 people are currently hospitalised with Covid-19 in France. Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting this morning he also announced that a consultation will take place with teachers unions and parents associations next week to discuss a new health protocol in schools. He also confirmed that night clubs will be reopening as planned on 16 February.

Gabrial Attal announced that a state of health emergency has been declared in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia in the south Pacific. He said that the incidence rate is at a record level in the islands.

Immunocompromised people in France will be able to receive free FFP2 masks from pharmacies. According to a decree publshed in the Official Journal today, people at risk of severe forms of covid-19 and who are immunocompromised, for whom vaccination does not induce an antibody level sufficient to ensure sufficient protection or in whom a disease or a treatment leads to a rapid drop in the level of antibodies, will be able to receive a supply of masks on presentation of  supporting documents.

Sante Publique France has said that there has been an increase in indicators for influenza in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and Corsica. The agency said that flu levels in Corsica justify the transition to the "pre-epidemic" phase for the island.

Authorities in Marseille have seized a record shipment of cocaine. At 514kg, the load is the largest shipment of cocaine ever seized at a French port, according to police. It was discovered on board a cargo ship from Chile.

The French Indian Ocean island of Reunion has been placed on a red weather alert because of a cyclone in the region. The local prefecture, which issued the alert, said that residents should confine themselves indoors as the cyclone passes close to the island tonight local time.

The Maritime Prefecture has reminded people not to practice nautical recreation activities during strong winds. Yesterday significant resources, including a lifeboat and helicopter, were deployed off the coast of the Var in a search for a paddleboarder, who was eventually found on land.

French statistics office INSEE is conducting a series of surveys on the financial resources and living conditions of selected households Antibes Juan-les-Pins until April. Those carrying out the survey are identifiable by an official accreditation card which they are obliged to present.

 

BUSINESS

Euro area annual inflation is expected to have risen to 5.1% in January, up from 5.0% in December according to an intial estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Analysts had expected the inflation figure to fall. Energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in January at 28.6%, followed by food, alcohol & tobacco.

New data in the United States from payroll processing company ADP indicates that businesses cut just over 300,000 jobs in January. Economists had expected a rise of 200,000. Over half of the job cuts were in the leisure and hospitality sectors as the Omicron variant affected the economy.

 

SPORT

Football..Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer from Arsenal. His contract reportedly runs until 30 June 2025 and includes an option to agree a departure in June 2023.

Winter Olympics... The Winter Olympics have got underway in Beijing with Team GB winning the curling mixed doubles opener against Sweden.

Austrian ski jumper Marita Kramer has been ruled out of the Winter Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19. She was due to compete in the women's ski jumping event which starts on Saturday and had been expected to be in contention for a gold medal.

 

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