Number of cases of intensive care patients drops for the first time since the begining of the coronavirus outbreak - France on Thursday reported its first fall in the number of patients in intensive care suffering from COVID-19 since the coronavirus epidemic began, with 82 fewer people in intensive care units compared with the day before.
There are now 7,066 patients in intensive care, announced the top French health official Jerome Salomon, adding that the total combined death toll in hospitals and nursing homes has now risen to 12,210.
Urging people to keep on observing a nationwide lockdown, Salomon went on to say that: "Thanks to these measures, France is in the process of putting the brakes on the epidemic".
30,767 people are still in hospital.
Regional figures of coronavirus - Meanwhile in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var 107 people have died from Covid-19 and an additional 44 from nursing homes have also fallen victim to the virus.
Figures released on Thursday report that 264 people are hospitalised in the Alpes Maritimes. 84 are in intensive care. In the Var 278 people are in hospital and 56 are in intensive care.
In Monaco five people out of 84 cases have been cured from the coronavirus. Eleven people are hospitalised of which three are in intensive care.
Extensive disinfection starts this morning in Cannes - The town hall in Cannes has annnounced that an extensive disinfection of an area of La Bocca will take place this morning. Place Roubaud and surrounding areas will be disinfected by a pick-up type 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 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.
Prefect of the Var announced tightening of confinement measures - 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.
Just ask Nicole - A virtual assistant who goes by the name of "Nicole" has been launched by the regional council. Nicole is there to answer questions onn Covid-19 as well as measures in place to stem the epidemic. With a simple click on www.departement06.fr you too can ask Nicole! However be warned I logged on last night and Nicole must have been "débordé" but I'll keep trying!
Taxi drivers applaud staff and caregivers in front of hospitals in the region - Thursday evening saw taxi drivers from Antibes, Grasse and Nice applaud hospital staff and caregivers in front of their work place. The regular 8pm "clapping" as a tribute to those risking their lives to save others, has taken place all over the region since the start of the epidemic. Taxi drivers on thursday decided to move the tribute closer to home by gathering in front of several hospitals in the region.
Ten wealthy holiday makers attempt to reach Cannes by private jet during confinement - Ignoring the confinement measures, ten wealthy holiday makers have attempted to reach the Côte d'Azur on a private jet. The aircraft, which left London, landed at Marseille airport without authorization, the 10 passengers were not allowed to enter French territory.
The private jet from London landed in Marseille despite the ban. On board, were 10 passengers. Three young women in their twenties and seven men aged 40 to 50 of various nationalities: Croatian, German, French, Romanian and Ukrainian. They had planned to go to Cannes aboard three helicopters to stay in a luxury villa. The ride however was short-lived. After trying to use their relationships to force the checkpoint of the airport authorities, the were finally sent packing.
Survey shows that 76% of French believe the government has not told them the truth about wearing masks - A survey published on Thursday has shown that three-quarters of French people believe that the government lied to them about the masks during the coronavirus epidemic. Many point to a lack of clarity and consistency concerning masks with more than a third of French respondents also indicate that they already wear a protective mask.
Odoxa-Dentsu carried out the survey which saw 76% of French respondents say that they believe the "government has not told the truth to the French" and that it "wanted to dissuade them from wearing it because there were not enough for caregivers. "
72% of French people want the mask to be mandatory. Three out of four French people (77%) think that the government has been neither "clear" nor "consistent" on this issue.
Four people are taken to hospital following a fire in an apartment in Monaco - Four people have been taken to the Princess Grace hosptial in Monaco after a fire broke out on Thursday afternoon in a building on Rue Plati. The fire which was brought under control, had started on the 4th floor of the building before spreading to the roof.
During the firefighters interventionthe power supply was cut off in both the building itself and next door. Three people have had to be relocated following the blaze.
A report from Bloomberg says that an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia for record cuts in oil production at risk of coming apart after Mexico refused to participate and walked out of talks.
Bloomberg says that the impasse came following 9 hours of talks via video link and has cast doubt on the global effort to revive the oil market from its recent debilitating coronavirus-induced slump.
The report says that Opec + won’t cut production without the participation of Mexico and that there are no plans for follow up talks today.
Earlier on Thursday ,Opec + had tentatively agreed to cut production by some 10 million barrels a day in May and June with Saudi Arabia and Russia leading the way.
However ,Mexico’s Energy Secretary Rocio Nahle Garcia then refused to accept a production level cut of 23 percent for her country and insisted that she was only willing to reduce output by 100,000 barrels a day instead of the 400,000 necessary for the deal to go ahead.
It’s thought that other Opec + members will eventually agree to go ahead with production cuts with or without the participation of Mexico but for now ,the deal is hanging in the balance.
The US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have both ramped up emergency responses to the coronavirus pandemic pushing even deeper into territory once thought to be dangerous ground for central banks.
The Fed has pledged an extra 2.3 trillion dollars to help local governments on the front line of the crisis and to prop up small and medium-sized businesses while in the UK ,The Bank of England said that it would allow the government to run up an unlimited overdraft to meet its promise to pay wages to millions of workers laid off during lockdown as well as to cut taxes for business and expand the welfare system.
The Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell has dismissed concerns that the central bank was risking an inflation surge or distorting the way that companies do business while the Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey rejected claims that the UK central bank has resorted to direct monetary financing of the government.
And-The European Union has agreed a 500 billion euro rescue package for member states who’ve been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
The deal was reached following marathon talks in Brussels and came as Spain said that it was close to passing the worst phase of its virus outbreak.
Spain has Europe’s highest number of confirmed cases with more than 152 ,000 infections and over 15 thousand deaths.
The package finally agreed is smaller than that sought by the European Central Bank which has said that the bloc may need up to 1.5 trillion euros to tackle the crisis.
The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the agreement was the most important economic plan in EU history adding that Europe “has decided and is ready to meet the gravity of the crisis”.
The main component of the rescue package involves the European Stability Mechanism which will make 240 billion euros available to guarantee spending by indebted countries under pressure.
Formula 1-The sport’s managing director Ross Brawn has said that this year’s championship could start as late as October.
Mr Brawn says that Formula 1 is looking at closed-doors races as a way to start the season once the coronavirus crisis eases and that every permutation is being discussed.
8 races must be run in order for a season to be classed as a world championship.
Brawn said that would mean that racing would have to start in October at the latest.
Football-The Scottish season has been pushed back until at least the 10th of June because of the coronavirus pandemic.
All matches were postponed on the 13th of March and the new suspension applies to all professional and recreational levels of the game.
Cricket-England’s Test series against West Indies in June is looking less and less likely according to director of cricket Ashley Giles.
There will be no cricket in the UK until at least the 28th of May because of the coronavirus crisis and Giles says that England will be looking at how far back into the summer Test matches can be pushed.
On Thursday ,Australia’s Test series in Bangladesh which had been due to be played in June was postponed.
Clear skies with light variable winds.
Top temperature 18-21 degrees.
Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.
The weekend-Clear skies with highs of 19-22 degrees.