French and Riviera News Monday 13th April 2020


Coronavirus latest regional figures - Ten more patients have died from coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in both regions on Sunday evening to 226, (117 in the Alpes Maritimes and 109 in the Var). 

80 patients are currently in intensive care in hospitals in the Alpes Maritimes and 53 in hospitals in the Var. In both regions a total of 545 people are to date hospitalised due to the coronavirus. 

In Monaco one coronavirus case was reported on Sunday evening bringing the total number of positive cases in the Principality to 93 six of which have recovered from the virus. 9 patients are hospitalised, 5 of which are in intensive care.

Medical team from the region head to Mulhouse - A team of caregivers have left the region onboard a military aircraft, destination Mulhouse. The team left Nice airport on Sunday and have been given the task of setting up an autonomous unit to relieve the teams of the Regional Hospital Center in Mulhouse. 

The team will be joined by six additional professionals in the region of Mulhouse to ensure the continuity of the service.

Survey shows that confidence in the French government and their dealing with the coronavirus is waning - According to a survey published and carried out by Ifop the confidence placed by the French in the government in the face of the health and economic crisis of the coronavirus is waning. 

The survey shows that 45%, down by 3 points, of respondents trust the government to help businesses cope with the crisis, and 38% down by 6 point, trust the government in general to fight the epidemic and its consequences.

Missing person - Police have launched a missing person appeal following the disappearance of 41 year old Jérôme Annen. Annen a homeless man has not been seen since April 6th. At the time he had been in emergency accommodation with the AVAF (Var Association for Family Care) in Draguignan.

Before his disappearance, he had reported to the AVAF the theft of his bag from the accommodation. A bag containing his cell phone and identity documents.

Jérôme Annen has had no contact with his family, living in Antibes, since his disappearance. He measures 1.78 m tall and weighs 80 kg and has medium long brown hair. 

Anyone with any information is requested to notify the police station of Draguignan, Tel. :

Water cut off in Roquefort les Pins - Early on Sunday morning, residents of Roquefort-les-Pins had the unpleasant surprise of not having any more drinking water. A main pipeline broke on the network managed by the Veolia group, depriving 400 households of water in two districts of the municipality of Roquefort-les-Pins: Hauts-de Roquefort and Martels.

The water supply was gradually back to normal by the afternoon. 

France will have to work harder after confinement - The head of France’s employers’ union has said that after France loosens its confinement measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, people will have to work harder to get the economy back up and running. 

The head of the Medef employers' union said that the focus is to “get the economic machine running to reproduce mass wealth, to try to erase, as of 2021, the loss of growth of 2020,” 

France is facing its worst recession since 1945, with 30 to 40 percent of businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Economy minister Bruno Le Maire and public accounts minister Gérald Darmanin announced last week that the French GDP is expected to drop six per cent in 2020.

"Frenchy bashing" at borders with Germany - Germany's foreign minister has condemned aggression towards French people in the border areas between the two countries which has risen during the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister wrote on Twitter the "Coronavirus knows nothing of nationality. It's the same for human dignity. It hurts to see how some of our French friends have been insulted and attacked because of COVID-19," "Such behaviour is completely unacceptable. And besides: we are in the same boat."

Germany introduced border controls on 16th March and since then, only goods are allowed through, and commuters who work on opposite sides of the border. The French region on the German border, Grand Est, has been the country’s hardest hit by Covid-19, with more than 2,000 confirmed deaths.
UK Prime Minitser discharged from hospital
- Boris Johnson has left hospital. UK Prime Minister  hospitalized due to a coronavirus infection, was released from hospital, Downing Street announced on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Boris Johnson thanked the public health service, the NHS, for saving "his life".

"I can never thank enough" NHS staff, said Boris Johnson, in his first official statement since he was hospitalised in intensive care on Monday. "I owe them my life," he added.

The European commissioner for the Internal market Thierry Breton has said that it's "Out of the question" to have coercive tracing measures in the EU. With a view to deconfinement, several countries are working on mobile applications that would allow, thanks to their smartphones, to identify and warn people who have been in contact with someone who is contaminated.

Speaking to French media Breton said that "It is out of the question, we will never, support measures that are coercive measures," adding use must be "on a voluntary basis only." It must also be "used only by the health authorities. Impossible for judicial, police, or obviously commercial, insurance authorities, to have access to it,"

Tracking is also not "the miracle solution" for Xavier Bertrand, the president of Hauts-de-France explained that it was necessary above all to settle the question of tests and masks.

France's Minister of Agriculture has called on mayors and prefects to reopen markets. Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume on Sunday called on mayors and prefects to promote the reopening of food markets in France when health security measures to counter the Covid-19 epidemic are respected.

"I am in favor of the opening of all the open-air markets and all the food halls," declared the minister."I call the mayors of France and the prefects to encourage them to reopen these markets provided there is compliance with health standards. "

Didier Guillaume recalled that the government had been forced to close markets in France "because the health security measures were not implemented". Since then, a third of the markets have reopened thanks to exemptions granted by the prefectures having deemed the security measures sufficient.

French President to address the nation on Monday 13th April - This evening at 8pm, Emmanuel Macron is to address the French on the coronavirus crisis. He is expected in particular to speak about the extension of the confinement and the management of the weeks and months to come. 

While France is close to 14,000 deaths due to the coronavirus epidemic, the country has been living under confinement since March 17.

The head of state is reportedly preparing, a speech of about fifteen minutes, in which he does not want to give the impression of already being in the post-crisis period. "He will present a strategy and will follow the logic of explaining why an exit from confinement today is not wise," 

On the subject of masks, Macron will no doubt evoke the subject, but without going into details, believing that this is the role of the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon.

Also on the agenda: the issue of closing the borders of the Schengen area until the summer, or even September. Friday, during a meeting with social partners, he put this hypothesis on the table. The final decision must be taken at a European level, and not before the European Council on 23rd April. 

Other questions remain unanswered: What about the reopening of schools? How to reconcile the economic recovery and the health crisis? "Things are not decided on the basis of the economy, but on health," insists a government adviser. "It is sanitation above all".


President Donald Trump has said "hundreds of thousands" of energy jobs are set to be saved after a deal with OPEC Plus was finalised.

Intergovernmental group OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and its allies on Sunday agreed to a historic deal to cut oil output by 9.7 million barrels a day, or a tenth of global supply, during the coronavirus  pandemic.

The unprecedented reduction will take place from May to June this year, and then will continue to keep gradually decreasing curbs on production in place for two years until April 2022.

In the UK during the coronavirus outbreak anyone who cannot leave home may be able to ask a trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash at any Post Office using a single-use voucher.

The Post Office scheme is being extended and offered to all banks, building societies and credit unions.

If the bank allows it, someone can ask for a one-time barcode sent via text, email or post for a stipulated amount.

A trusted friend or volunteer can exchange the voucher for the cash requested.

And Bill Gates has said in an exclusive interview with the BBC on Sunday that few countries will get 'A-grade' for coronavirus response. Gates went on to say that we are "in uncharted territory" due to a lack of investment and preparation for such a pandemic.


Motor racing - Sir Stirling Moss has died aged 90 following a long illness, his wife Susan announced on Sunday.

Lady Moss said that the motor racing legend "died as he lived, looking wonderful".  Lady Moss was at the racing driver's bedside as he died, having nursed him through a long illness.

Moss rose to fame after the Second World War and went on to be acclaimed as the greatest all-round racer ever.

Though Moss famously never won the Formula One title, he finished runner-up four times and came third three times in a career during which he won 16 Grands Prix.

Moss' first Grand Prix victory came in the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree as he became the first British driver to win the event. Moss won a total of 212 of the 529 races he entered in his 14-year career.

Moss was born in London on September 17, 1929.

Football - Former Chelsea and England goalkeeper Peter Bonette has died aged 78 after a long-term illness. Nicknamed 'The Cat', Bonetti made his Chelsea debut at 18, and spent a total of 19 years, in two spells, at Stamford Bridge.

He also made seven appearances for his country, representing the Three Lions at the World Cup in 1970 and being a non-playing member of the squad at the 1966 World Cup in England, as they emerged triumphant.

And Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish has praised the efforts of NHS staff across the UK after being released from hospital following a positive coronavirus diagnosis.

The 69 year old was admitted to hospital on Wednesday for treatment on gallstones. 

Despite not showing any symptoms, Dalglish underwent a routine coronavirus test which returned a positive diagnosis for Covid-19.

The former Celtic, Liverpool and Scotland forward is now recovering in self-isolation at home.

Cycling - Former Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas is to undertake three epic rides to raise money for the NHS during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Professional cycling is on hold, with no competitions until at least 1 June.

So Thomas is going to cycle at home in Cardiff for 36 hours over the course of three days, starting on 15 April.


Mainly fine with some passing cloud. Highs of 21 degrees in Menton and Antibes, 19 in Nice. In the Var highs of 21 degrees. Moderate easterly wind. Rain is expected by late afternoon and into the evening. This evening 

down to 11 degrees  in the Alpes Maritimes and 9 degrees in the Var. 

Outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday clear skies plenty of sunshine highs of 19 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 23 degrees in the Var. 


How to be Happier During COVID: Decades of Science Shows That Gratitude, Love, and Connection Can Save Your Life

In the face of COVID-19, social distancing and self-isolating is one of the most effective measures of prevention to ensure that hospitals don’t become overwhelmed with sick patients.

But the usual methods most readily available to help reduce the stress and anxiety resulting from seriously difficult times—an embracing hug, seeing friends, or visiting parents or grandparents—are exactly the things we’re told not to do.

There are other options, however—and over 50 years of documented research suggests that we can reduce symptoms of anxiety, and even physical pain responses, by doing them.

In over half-century of research, scientist found that both the act of smiling and seeing smiles can actually make people happier. 

Also scientists from the University of Arizona found in an examination of 102 people that simply thinking about romantic partners reduced symptoms of stress, anxiety, and general feelings of sadness—as much as if the person were actually in the room!

One experts gives the following advice saying that "If you see something in the mainstream media that gets you down, try just calling a friend and telling them how much they mean to you". Expressing gratitude, either for a person’s presence or a gift, as well as receiving expressions of gratitude, however awkward, was found in a study to be enough  to trigger beneficial neurological changes that resulted in better mental health for both the senders and recipients of emails.

It’s never been more important to tell someone that you love and miss them.


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