French and Riviera News Monday 19th April


Number of intensive care patients drops slightly in France - After more than two weeks of lockdown the number of intensive care patients in France has dropped slightly below 5,900. With health authorities claiming a stabilisation in the number of people being admitted. 

Quarantine on travellers – Meanwhile France has imposed a 10-day quarantine on travellers coming from Brazil, Argentina, Chile and South Africa over concerns about the circulation of highly contagious Covid-19 variants. French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the new measures as France continues to battle a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospital interns under pressure - According to the union for hospital interns in Paris many are at breaking point due to the long hours on the “Covid frontline” with some even committing suicide. France has 300,000 medical student interns; whose average age is 25.

Computer failure at Pasteur hospital in Nice - The Pasteur hospital in Nice has been hit by a computer failure. The incident occurred on Sunday 18th April plunging the hospital into a digital blackout as staff tried to operate without computers. The outage occurred over night and lasted until mid-afternoon.

Incidence rate in Alpes Maritimes drops to below national average - After two months of restrictions in the Alpes Maritimes, the incidence rate for the region has fallen below the alert threshold, at 250. According to Public Health France, the incidence rate for the Alpes Maritimes stood at 229 on Sunday April 18th, a figure that had not been reached in the region since December 12th. The current rate also sees the region fall below the national average in France which stands at 352. At the height of the epidemic in the Alpes-Maritimes, the incidence rate was 642.

Vaccinodrome closes due to lack of people - The vaccinodrome at the Palais des Expositions has closed its doors early, due to a poor turn out. The vaccination centre had been set up to welcome priority professionals over 55 to receive the AstraZenzca vaccine however, with only 58 people turning up on Saturday April 17th the setup had closed its doors by midday.

In other news 

Kidnapping - Police in France have said that an eight-year-old girl who was kidnapped in eastern France last week has been found with her mother in Switzerland. Her mother, Lola Montemaggi, has since been taken into Swiss police custody. Officials say she ordered the abduction of the girl, of whom she no longer had custody, from her grandmother's home.

Aid for farmers - French Prime Minister Jean Castex has pledged more than one billion euros in aid for farmers and winemakers hit by the worst frost in decades. Across France, farmers are counting their losses after the freeze, which followed a period of unseasonably warm weather, affected hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops and vines in 10 of the country's 13 regions. 

Macron to launch national debate on drug consumption - In an interview with Le Figaro, French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that he wants to launch a national debate on drug consumption with the intention to change the law on criminal liability. The announcement comes after the judgment of the Sarah Halimi, a case where the aggressor was criminally recognized irresponsible after consuming narcotics.

Macron pays tribute to one of the last surviving members of French commando in the 1944 Normandy landings - At the weekend French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Hubert Faure, one of the last surviving members of a French commando team which took part in the 1944 Normandy landings, who died aged 106. Macron expressed "the gratitude of the nation" and sent his condolences to Faure's family in a statement, saying the former navy commando provided "a wonderful lesson in commitment and heroism".


Asian shares have risen this morning helped by expectations that monetary policy will remain accommodative while COVID-19 vaccine rollouts are helping to ease fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections. On Friday the S&P 500 closed at a new record high clocking in its six straight weekly gain. Investors will be looking out this week for earnings from IBM and Coca-Cola while Netflix reports on Tuesday and later in the week American Airlines and Southwest will be the first major air carriers to post results as the pandemic recedes. The European Central bank will meet on Thursday with no changes forecast to rates or guidance. Meanwhile, Bitcoin the world’s largest crypto currency recouped much of its losses after plunging as much as 14% on Sunday following speculation the US Treasury may be looking at cracking down on money laundering activity with digital assets.

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