French and Riviera News Thursday 16th April 2020

Coronavirus - The latest figures published show that 271 people have died in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, in nursing homes or in hospitals, since the start of the coronavirus epidemic.

There has been a slight decrease in the last 24 hours of the number of patients in intensive care in the Alpes-Maritimes.

In Monaco the Prince's Government deplores the death of a resident for the first time since the start of the epidemic. He was 72 years old.

This is the third death linked to the coronavirus since the start of the epidemic in the Principality.

The Princely Government wishes to express to the family and loved ones of this person all their support during these moments of great sadness that affect Monaco.

Meanwhile for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, no new Covid-19 positive cases were reported.

The Principality therefore remains at 93 people affected by the coronavirus. Six more people, compared to yesterday, are declared cured.

This brings the total number of patients who have recovered from the virus to date, to 12.

9 people are hospitalized. 2 of them are in intensive care.

Scientific Council - The Chairman of the French Scientific Council has said that 18 million "at risk" people will need to remain confined after the 11th of May.

The Scientific Council advises the French authorities on the coronavirus outbreak. The Chairman also said that the end of confinement should be postponed if certain conditions aren't met. These included a sufficient number of tests being available and a tracking system being established.

Meanwhile Professor Didier Raoult, former member of the Scientific Council has, in a video, “predicted the end of the Covid 19 epidemic in the PACA region”. The Professor in Marseille predicts the end of the Covid 19 epidemic in a few weeks, at least in the Paca region in footage published on the IHU website. Remarks which have again raise criticism, from the Regional Health Service.

With 132 new cases tested positive in 24 hours in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, official figures from Public Health France confirm a steady decline in the progression of the disease in the region.

But Professor Didier Raoult, goes further. In a video published on Tuesday on the site of the institute, he indicates that according to him, the epidemic is gradually disappearing.

A claim immediately denied by the regional health agency (ARS) PACA, which for its part indicates that the epidemic is not decreasing.

The director of ARS for the PACA region, Philippe De Mester, replies that "it is premature to predict the end of the epidemic".

Raoult has been a figure of controversy throughout the coronavirus epidemic after having claimed that the use of chloroquine alongside an antibiotic was a valid treatment for the virus at its early stages. Lack of testing for the treatment and possible side effects have led to others in the medical profession claiming that it is far from being a solution.

MPs call for support towards children left orphaned by Covid-19 – Meanwhile forty MPs have asked for a "national recognition status" for the children of healthcare workers who have died of the coronavirus, in an appeal released Wednesday, April 15 addressed to France’s Minister of Health the following was declared "They are faces, 'committed' to the service of others, but above all mothers and fathers of families that France must never forget. They deserve all the recognition of the Nation, because they died for it”.

Since the start of the epidemic, 6,019 potential cases of contamination have been reported among health professionals, according to a report by Public Health France last week. Among them, about fifteen deaths have, at this stage, been made public.

The MPs call for the other family members be protected by concrete measures, for example taking charge of schooling.

Mother and three-year-old son die in fire - A mother and her three-year-old son have died in a fire, ten other people have been injured. The fire broke out in a residential building in the Seine et Marne near Paris.

The mother and her son died on the spot despite the intervention of firefighters who tried to revive them, explained the firemen. The ten others were "poisoned by smoke,".

The fire broke out at around 6.30 p.m. in an apartment on the 1st floor of a 7-storey building spreading "very quickly" to the other floors. The cause is yet to be determined.

Coronavirus rescue package - Two days after President Macron extended confinement until 11th May the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said that the government has agreed to boost a 45-billion-euro fund to support the economy through the epidemic to 110 billion euros. The French government has expanded its coronavirus rescue package to include bonuses for health workers, funds for poor families and additional aid for the unemployed to assist them through the Covid-19 lockdown which has been extended.

China’s foreign ministry says it was a “malentendu” - China has downplayed a diplomatic spat between Paris and Beijing over a Chinese embassy report implying that France abandoned elderly patients infected with the coronavirus, leaving them to die.

Beijing dismissed the incident as a "malentendu", with a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry saying Beijing had never given any negative criticism of France's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and had no intention of doing so.

AS Monaco supports those on the frontline of the current health crisis - The players of AS Monaco have mobilized themselves to raise money to help support those on the front line of the current health crisis.

The players have launched an online collection of donations through its solidarity program AS Monacoeur. The club has itself made an initial donation, of 50,000 euros.

The funds raised will support the actions of the Monegasque Red Cross as well as those volunteers providing home delivery services, support for vulnerable people and international aid.

Alongside this and in order to help the Princess Grace Hospital Center here in Monaco, the club has proposed the use of its training center at La Turbie and the accommodation center of the Academy in Cap-d'Ail, if needed for hospital staff.

To participate in the call for donations: www.gofundme.com/asmonaco.

Michelin star chef helping truck drivers - The Michelin-starred chef Laurent Poulet is offering meals to drivers passing through the A8 motorway service area in Mougins. Every Tuesday evening the chef and his team install the service for truck drivers offering a gastronomic menu.

Laurent Poulet the former Michelin star of the Table du Cap (in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat) says he wanted to support all those on the front lines and second, not to stay idle. With his friend Frédéric Ramos from the Novotel Monaco, Laurent Poulet has hands out over 300 meals each week.

Cagnes sur mer distributes masks to health staff - 7,000 surgical masks are to be distributed today to nurses, doctors, carers and paramedics in Cagnes sur mer.

The orders were placed with a Cagnoise company to "buy from local businesses".

The masks will be delivered in the afternoon, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the form of a drive in at Place Gabriel Péri.

Four operations carried out by the city of Cagnes-sur-Mer have already enabled the distribution to health personnel of 18,000 items of protective equipment including masks, gloves and aprons.

Swimmer in Nice - The 30-year-old man who was caught swimming in Nice on Tuesday despite the present confinement measures in place has received a two-month prison sentence. The 30-year-old from Marseille had already been fined four times in his hometown, before deciding to come and swim in Nice on Tuesday.

Braving confinement, he was greeted with open arms by police on the Promenade. Failing to respond to messages from a drone above, it took the intervention of the maritime police to get the man out of the water.

The swimmer, a job seeker from Marseille was at the time of the intervention dressed not only in his bathing trunks, a T-shirt but also a surgeon’s mask. Subject to a fine of 3,700 euros and six months' imprisonment, the individual attempted to justify himself by telling police that “everything in Marseille is blocked”.

“Mon Panier Bleu” - The collaborative food e-commerce platform “Mon Panier Bleu” is delivering products from local artisans and traders to the most isolated areas.

With around 30 artisans and producers from the French Riviera from butchers, fishmongers, wine producers and cheese makers, the platform offers local products. From 25 € of purchase, MonPanierBleu.com delivers from Théoule to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin for 10 €.

The startup which, out of solidarity, has reduced its service costs by 20% scrupulously respects Zero Contact: "Online payments, bags of goods deposited at a safe distance, gloves changed several times a day, refrigerated vehicles disinfected daily". For more information go to www.monpanierbleu.com


BUSINESS

Financial markets are reflecting growing fears the coronavirus pandemic is set to inflict deeper economic damage than initially feared.

Stock market values took a hit globally on Wednesday - applying brakes to the tentative recovery seen since the share slump that began in February as Covid-19 took hold in Italy.

And - The IMF has suggested the UK and the EU should "not add to uncertainty" from coronavirus by refusing to extend the period to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal.

The UK government chose to put into law a refusal to trigger provisions to extend the Brexit implementation phase beyond the end of the year.

That means, without a deal, the UK and EU would trade on World Trade Organization terms, including significant new taxes and checks on trade, from the beginning of next year.

According to reports Number 10 says that remains the position.

The IMF has also said that economies in Asia will see zero growth this year for the first time in 60 years.

Adding that Asia's service sector in particular will struggle to rebound and airlines, factories, shops and restaurants have been "hard hit" by national lockdowns.


SPORT

Football - The body which represents Europe’s top leagues has said that football will "no doubt" return behind closed doors but it’s "impossible" to know when that will be.

Alberto Colombo, the deputy general secretary of European Leagues, said the suspension of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic was "a huge crisis".

"The vast majority" of the association's members, which includes the Premier League and the English Football League, are prioritising a return to action, he said.

The £300million takeover of Newcastle United is now in the hands of the Premier League. Reports have disclosed that all the necessary paperwork has been lodged with the competition, and that the potential deal now awaits their approval.

They have added that the process should take around ‘three to four weeks’, meaning that a consortium – backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – could be in place well before the start of the new season.

Formula One - Formula 1 faces a "difficult" decision as to when racing can start later this year, says the McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.

The sport is considering a number of options to start the season after the first nine races were called off because of the coronavirus crisis.

 

Weather

Mainly cloudy with some sunny spells highs of 21 degrees inland and 18 degrees along the coast with a moderate to strong south easterly wind. This evening going down to 10 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and the weekend becoming increasing cloudy from Friday afternoon with possible showers late Saturday and storms forecast for the Alpes Maritimes on Sunday with temperatures of between 19-21 degrees.

 

 

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