French and Riviera News Friday 27th March 2020

Coronavirus - The latest figures published on Thursday evening, by the regional health agency have shown 11 new deaths due to the coronavirus in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region.

There are 11 deaths  in the region, including 3 in the Alpes-Maritimes and 4 in the Var.

Since the start of the coronavirus health crisis, 12 people have died in the Alpes-Maritimes and 12 in the Var. The total number of deaths  in the PACA region to date is 44.

85 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Alpes-Maritimes including 18 in intensive care, 103 in the Var including 32 in intensive care.

In its press release, the national public health agency France specifies that cases of coronavirus have been declared in 31 nursing homes in the region.

In Monaco two new cases of coronavirus were reported on Thursday bringing the total number of cases in the Principality to 33.


16 year old girl dies from coronavirus - Meanwhile a 16-year-old girl with coronavirus has died in the Île-de-France according to the Director General of Health.

She is the first known victim of this age in France to have died from the virus.Regarding the general health of the girl before her death, the Director of Health said during his speech that he had no details on any previous health problems.


Since the start of the epidemic, 1,696 people have died from coronavirus in hospitals in France, 365 more in 24 hours, and 29,155 cases of contamination are now identified.

An increase in the number of deaths  is observed in five regions in France the Grand Est (+ 29.9%), Hauts-de-France (+12.8%), Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (+ 18.9%), Île-de-France (+ 13.7%) and Corsica (+ 39.2%). 


The City of Nice needs you - Committed like the whole country in the fight against the coronavirus for several weeks, the City of Nice continues its initiatives in order to always better protect the most fragile. Since March 19, 2020, at the request of Christian Estrosi Mayor of Nice, President of the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis, Deputy President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, the municipal civil security reserve of Nice works every day in favour of isolated vulnerable people:

Food delivery at home 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Home delivery of medications and other medical needs
recovery of certain food from supermarkets
telephone contact with seniors
putting the most vulnerable in touch with voluntary citizens
pet walking

Those willing to volunteer can register by phone on 0497135600 or by email

Protective masks - The Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council has announced that it's placed a large order for protective masks. A total of one million masks had been ordered, including 300,000 FFP2 masks. The new masks will be given to "hospital centers, departmental agents working in contact with vulnerable populations, as well as nursing homes, autonomous residences, Home Help Services, and establishments for people with disabilities".

The council also announced that it had ordered 5,000 litres of recycled hydro-alcoholic gel. Meanwhile, Christophe Castaner, the French Minister of the Interior, has asked the police to return their stocks of FFP2 masks so that they can be given to nursing staff. Police unions have described the measure as "a scandal" and say they cannot accept being "sacrificed" and not being able to protect themselves.

All police unions, all ranks, issued a "solemn warning" to the Minister of the Interior concerning the lack of masks available to officials and threatened to suspend controls.

Non-compliance with containment measures - Since the implementation of strict containment measures to fight the coronavirus epidemic on March 16, around 3.7 million checks have been carried out throughout France, said the Minister of the Interior, who estimated that containment should "continue until we have won the fight against the virus".

Pharmacist sells gels and masks illegally - Meanwhile a pharmacist based in Nice-Nord has appeared before court for illegally selling masks and gel.

The public prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme accuses the chemist of having sold masks intended for health professionals to individuals.

It was a shocked  client, six days ago, who reported the case to the police. The pharmacist was selling masks  at € 4.50 per unit, but pretended to be out of stock when health professionals come to get them.

Investigators intervened Tuesday morning in the pharmacy. The staff immediately confirmed this singular business practice.

The pharmacy owner was immediately arrested while her pharmacy, apartments and garage were searched.

Police seized 51 bottles of hand-made hydroalcoholic gel, not in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (in particular with ultrasound gel), surgical masks and latex gloves ...

The owner later  admitted having sold  masks and gel for around 200 euros per day.

The accused faces two years in prison and a 300,000 euro fine," said the public prosecutor, as a warning to other pharmacies.

La Poste - Only 27 offices out of 108 remain open in the Alpes-Maritimes with La Poste's services are now obliged to reorganize in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes in order to adapt to the health situation.

The objective is to "Protect the health of postal workers and ensure their essential missions", summarizes La Poste. What are the consequences for users? Mail distributed and picked up less often, and many post offices closed.

Prince Albert health update - The palace in Monaco has issued an update on the health of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, who is in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 last week. The palace says that specialists from the Princess Grace Hospital who have been treating the Prince have no concerns about the development of his health. Prince Albert continues to work from the office of his private apartments and remains in permanent contact with members of his cabinet, his government as well as with his closest collaborators. His Serene Highness reminds the people of Monaco of the importance of respecting confinement measures and limiting contact with others.

Testing - Following a request from a health worker's union yesterday, the Regional Health Agency has authorized several laboratories on the Riviera to carry out screening tests, including "drive-in" tests. The tests will be administered at a safe distance without people having to leave their cars.

« Corona bonds » - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her opposition to the idea of issuing "corona bonds" at a European summit on Thursday, as desired by French and Italian leaders in particular, to respond to the crisis linked to the new coronavirus.

"We have said on the German side, but also on the part of other participants, that it was not the conception of all the member states" to issue these joint European loans to support the economy, Angela Merkel stressed to the outcome of a summit by videoconference.

Alcohol sales decline in France - With the containment measures introduced in France on March 17th, one may have expected an increase in alcohol consumption. However, this is not reflected in the sales, which according to figures released, have dropped quite significantly over the past week.

According to a study, in the first week of confinement, alcohol is one of the only two categories whose sales have declined. They are down 1.7% in France along with  hygiene and beauty products down 3.4%.



Asian stock markets have risen this morning as investors bet that massive stimulus from the US and G20 will ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday ,Wall Street capped its best three-day gains since the Great Depression as investors cheered the massive government stimulus package that’s now expected to pass through Congress by the end of Saturday.

The G20 group of nations has also pledged to inject 5 trillion dollars into the global economy.

The rally comes after weeks of stock market volatility as investors weighed up the effect of measures to slow the spread of the virus against actions taken by governments and central banks to ease the impact of disruption to the global economy.

On Thursday ,leaders from the G20 group of nations pledged to do “whatever it takes” to overcome the pandemic.

The group pledged to ease the flow of vital medical supplies and other goods across borders and to resolve supply chain problems in some of the most conciliatory tones on trade expressed in years.


The number of Americans filing for unemployment has surged to a record high as the US economy goes into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 3.3 million people registered to claim unemployment benefits for the week ending the 21st of March according to the US Labor Department.

The number is nearly five times higher than the previous record of 695,000 which was set in 1982.

The rush to file claims has overwhelmed many state office handling the paperwork and has signaled an abrupt end to a decade of expansion.

Analysts say that the situation could be even worse than the current data shows following multiple reports of jammed phone lines and crashing official websites.

Economists say that when the virus passes ,it will not be a question of simply flicking the switch to return to pre-crisis levels of employment with a sharp contraction now inevitable and low-paid workers particularly vulnerable.



And-The UK government has said that self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80 percent of their monthly profits to help them cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Thursday evening ,the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that the self-employed had “not been forgotten”.

The money, worth up to 2,500 pounds per month will be paid in a single lump sum but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.

Last week ,Mr Sunak announced wage subsidies of up to 80 percent for salaried employees.

There are more than 5 million self-employed workers or sole traders in the UK but the scheme will not cover people who’ve only recently become self-employed.They’ll have to apply for Universal Credit.




Motorsport-The Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until August as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event is traditionally held on the last Sunday in May and is the largest race on the US motorsport calendar.

The race will now be held on the 23rd of August with the organisers saying that they’re desperately disappointed that they’ve had to reschedule.

Motorsport like all other sports has been hit hard by the pandemic with 8 Formula 1 Grand Prix this season called off.


Cycling-The French sports minister has said that she’s considering allowing the Tour de France to go ahead without spectators.

Roxana Maracineanu said that France had imposed bans on spectators for sporting events before but that it’s still too early to decide whether the race can go ahead or not.

The Tour de France is due to start on the 27th of June and conclude on the 19th of July.


Football-Michel Hidalgo ,the France football coach who led the team to the 1984 European Championship title has died at the age of 87.

Hidalgo gave France their first ever major international tournament success with a team studded with stars such as Michel Platini ,Jean Tigana and Joel Bats.

He was coach from 1976 to 1984 and died of natural causes which were not coronavirus related.


Cricket-The veteran England fast bowler James Anderson says that he’s keeping fit by taking part in virtual cycling races and bowling in his kitchen during the coronavirus lockdown.

Anderson said that he’s been racing fellow seamers Stuart Broad and Mark Wood with Broad coming out on top most times.

The 37 year old also said that he’d been practicing his bowling action by “running through the living room and kitchen” adding that he was also taking part in extensive gym work.





Partially cloudy with light to moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 12 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with scattered showers.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 14 degrees tomorrow and 16-18 degrees on Saturday.

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