French and Riviera News Monday 6th April 2020

 

Coronavirus - According to the latest figures reported 8,078 people have died in France from the coronavirus since the beginning of the epidemic, including 5,889 in hospital and 2,189 in nursing homes and other medical-social establishments. The number of patients in intensive care stands at 6,978.  

In the region 9 coronavirus patients were reported to have died on Sunday in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var. Since the beginning of the epidemic 43 people have died in the Alpes Maritimes and 36 in the Var and 29 in the nursing home in Mougins. As a whole the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region registered 17 deaths on Sunday from the virus, there are 7,593 cases and 435 patients are in intensive care. 

Monaco reported 7 new cases of the virus bringing the total to 73 of which 70 cases are active, 3 have since recovered and 2 people have died.

Meanwhile in Italy, the death toll has been the lowest for more than two weeks. The number of deaths recorded in 24 hours in Italy (525) on Sunday was the lowest in more than two weeks."The curve has started to descend," said the head of the Higher Institute of Health.

Also there were fewer deaths for the third consecutive day in Spain. The country registered 674 deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday in the past 24 hours, a decrease for the third day in a row. Authorities say they have stabilized the spread of the virus. But to succeed in reducing the pandemic, the government has decided to extend the confinement until April 25.  

And, London threatens to tighten confinement if it is not respected. Health Minister Matt Hancock has once again urged the British to comply not to be tempted by the good weather and to hang out. He protested that a "small minority" still did not follow these guidelines. He warned that the executive would not hesitate to ban outdoor exercise if the instructions were not followed. Meanwhile in a rare address given by The Queen on Sunday the monarch said that the UK "will succeed" in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. 

An hour after the Queen's broadcast, Downing Street announced that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been taken to hosptial following his coronavirus diagnosis. Mr Johnson has been self-isolating since he tested positive for the virus on 27 March.

 

New blood test - Meanwhile, a new fast blood test for Covid-19 is being developed and tested in France after a successful hospital trial. The test is being developed by BioSpeedia, based at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Laboritories will be allowed to test for the virus from today Monday April 6th. The test will allow doctors to know if someone’s blood contains antibodies against Covid-19, which will confirm if they have had the virus or not - even if they had no symptoms.

The blood tests can not only help to diagnose patients in the later stages of the illness, but also show the extent of the virus’ real spread among the population.

Corsica wants to use hydroxychloroquine - Meanwhile Corsica wants to become a pilot territory to test treatment with hydroxychloroquine. The Chairman of the Executive Council of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. "Asking that the prescription can be done, not only in hospitals, but also in a controlled manner in the private medical environment,"

Fines in Nice - Police have reported that 20 fines were handed out in Old Nice on Saturday 4th April, and 50 on Sunday 5th April in the centre of the city for non respect of the confinement measures. Sunday saw one person, who fled when the police attempted to control him, be later tracked down by a drone which is currently being used by officers to control the area.  

The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes banned walks and sporting activities in the port of Nice from Saturday, April 3rd, until at least April 15th, travel related to individual physical activity, walking and the needs of pets are prohibited throughout the port of Nice  as well as on Place Île- de-Beauté.   Fines are now 135 euros if the trip cannot be justified.

Tour de France - Organizers of the Tour de France are looking into possibily postpoining the race until August, due to the coronavirus outbreak. This years Tour de France was due to start in Nice on June 27th for three weeks of competition arriving on the Champs-Elysées on July 19th. According to reports the race could take place from July 25th to August 16th and therefore be delayed by one month which would in turn, also shift the Vuelta (the Tour of Spain), scheduled from August 14th to September 6th.

Doctor dies from coronavirus - A GP has died from the virus on Sunday. Seven dotors have died in France since the begining of the coronavirus epidemic. André Charon, a 73-year-old general practitioner who worked in Saint-Louis, in the south of the Haut-Rhin. It's the third death in the Haut-Rhin of a doctor following the coronavirus,. 

The Haut-Rhin, and in particular Mulhouse, have been one of the most active centers of the epidemic in France since a vast evangelical gathering at the end of February in which around 2,000 people participated. Several of them were unknowingly carriers of the coronavirus which they then involuntarily spread around and throughout France when they returned home. In France, the coronavirus-related deaths of seven doctors have been made public, mainly in the east of the country.

Far left politician calls for payment of rents to be suspended - French politician and leader of the far left party "France Insoumise", Jean Luc Mélenchon has asked for the suspenion of all rents during the confinement period. Mélenchon stated that there are insurance system which exists for owners before adding "I have tabled a bill to create a system to supply a common fund to guarantee rents". 

The proposal has already been formulated by "La France insoumise", in a bill submitted Friday at the National Assembly. The LFI group wishes the suspension of the "payment of rents during the duration of the sanitary crisis across the country", as demanded by associations and unions and as it is practiced in some European neighbouring countries. 

Man locks himself in supermarket - A man who deliberately let himself be locked in a supermarket over night is to appear in court. The incident occurred in Pau when the individual patiently waited for the staff at the Auchan hypermarket to close the store on Saturday before helping himself to bottles of champagne and whisky before watching pornographic films.

The evening visitor was discovered, drunk, in the supermarket in the early morning. The man was then taken to hospital, still intoxicated, he managed to damage a heart monitoring machine by pouring hydro-alcoholic gel on it. Placed in police custody the man will appear in court today. 

Confinement - Meanwhile in the Pyrenees-Orientales, a man was arrested and fined 135 euros after failing to repect confinement measures after he tried, by all means to go to the other side of the Spanish border, to buy cigarettes, cheaper than in France.

Entertainment during confinement - If you're dreaming about the golf course, practicing your swing in your living room or for those of you lucky enough to have one, setting up a driving range in the garden. As amateur golfers, think that must be you Rob? have been biting their clubs since the start of confinement. So in order to allow them to indulge in their passion despite everything, the Academy of the French Golf Federation has published a series of daily online videos under the hashtag #Golfezchezvous. 

And if it's not golf that you miss, but the regular pub quiz or both? Then why not take part in "Dave's Trivia Night" for free every Wednesday in English and French from 8.55pm French time. Teams of up to six get in touch with each other on video call and a team captain sends the answers. There are some great prizes to win. To find out more and register go to Dave's Trivia Night Facebook page or email davestrivianight@gmail.com

 

Business.

 

Wall Street analysts have said that US stock markets could re-test recent lows over the coming days or weeks as investors continue to worry about the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on the economy.

The main three indexes all fell by more than one and a half percent on Friday although markets have been showing some signs of stabilisation as investors weigh a broad range of signals for clues on the likely direction over the coming weeks.

Some experts are drawing attention to reduced volatility and improving liquidity in fixed-income markets as signs that the worst of the sell-off may be over but the picture still remains extremely turbulent.

The US Surgeon General has warned that the coming week may be the hardest so far in terms of numbers of deaths from the virus but there are some signs from around the country particularly on the eastern seaboard with the Governor of New York reporting a slight fall in the number of deaths on Sunday compared with Saturday.

 

Research by the UK Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested that young workers and those on the lowest pay are the most likely to be affected by the closure of businesses amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The report says that a “remarkable concentration” of workers under the age of 25 as well as women and the low paid will be hit by the economic effects of the virus.

The research comes as confidence in the UK economy has fallen to its lowest level in 12 years.

A consumer confidence gauge by the market research firm GfK has dropped to – 34  a decline of 25 points compared with just two weeks ago.

The report said that increased grocery sales were not enough to counter the stark outlook for the retail industry.

 

And-Oil prices have fallen back this morning after Saudi-Russian negotiations to cut output were delayed ,keeping oversupply concerns to the forefront.

Brent Crude fell by 2.7 percent in early Asian trade with West Texas Intermediate down 4 percent.

On the currency markets the pound fell against the dollar and the euro after news emerged that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been admitted to hospital as a result of persistent coronavirus symptoms.

Traders are concerned about UK political stability and the chance that other leading figures in the cabinet who attended the same meetings as Mr Johnson could be affected by the virus.

 

Sport.

 

Formula 1-The McLaren boss Zak Brown has said that the sport is in a “very fragile state” and needs big changes to survive.

Mr Brown says that the coronavirus crisis is potentially devastating for enough teams to make the situation very threatening to Formula 1 as a whole.

Cost saving plans for the sport will be discussed by Formula 1 bosses today although there is some division as to the best way forward.

Mr Brown was speaking in a BBC interview and said that he believes that the budget for 2021 needs to be lowered significantly.

 

Football-The Manchester City player Kyle Walker is facing club discipline after reports said that he had broken lockdown rules by hosting a party involving two sex workers.

Walker ,who’s 29 has apologised and urged people to “stay home and stay safe” during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement ,Manchester City said that the player had “directly contravened” his responsibility as a role model and that it would be holding an investigation.

 

Cricket-The Australia coach Justin Langer has said that he sees merit in playing games behind closed doors as a solution to restarting the sport once the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Langer said that “ you play the sport because you love it”  and that crowds should not be the be-all and end-all for the game to work.

He said that he hoped that a balance could be struck and that some good would come out of the terrible crisis that’s affecting everyone in the world at the moment.

 

Rugby Union-The former British and Irish Lion and Scotland coach Dougie Morgan has died at the age of 73 after a long illness.

The scrum-half played 21 Tests for Scotland and captained the side in the 5 Nations in 1978.

He appeared in two Tests for the Lions in 1977.

After his playing career he moved into coaching and was part of the Scotland set-up for the 1990 Grand Slam win before taking charge in 1993.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies  with light to moderate south easterly winds.

Top temperature 18-20 degrees.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with highs of 18-20 degrees.

 

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