French and Riviera News Tuesday 21st April 2020

Coronavirus - Covid-19 has already killed more than 20,000 people in France, according to the latest report made public by the Directorate General of Health (DGS), on Monday, April 20. France has recorded 12,505 deaths linked to the coronavirus since March 1 in hospitals, 7,752 in nursing homes. 

37,403 patients have been discharged from hospital after battling the virus. 30,462 patients remain in hospital across France and 5,584 people are in intensive care. Noting that the admissions and discharges of intensive care patients during the past 24 hours has been negative for several days.

In the Alpes Maritimes and the Var, the number of deaths from coronavirus has increased from 313 to 329 on Monday evening. Meanwhile in Monaco no new cases of the virus were reported on Monday evening. 

#MMERCI kit in Cannes - In Cannes the delivery of #MMERCI kits consisting of fabric, washable and reusable masks, manufactured in Cannes started on Monday. All residents will receive the kit delivered by the post between Monday and Wednesday informed the city council on twitter.  Once households have received a kit, those with several people confined will be able to allow one member of the household to collect, from April 23, additional masks necessary 7 days a week, from 9 am to 7 pm, in one of the ten distribution centers.

Draguignan Hospital receives new supplies - Draguignan Hospital has received a new supply of  protective equipment. Nearly 100 additional gowns, made by volunteers coordinated by the city, were handed over to the CHD by mayor Richard Strambio, in addition to the 130 already distributed.

Emergency fund for GPs in the region - An emergency fund has been set up by the Alpes-Maritimes region to support GPs purchase new equipment in order to exercise their profession during the coronavirus pandemic. The one-off aid is set at a maximum of € 1,000 per practitioner and is payable on receipt of paid invoices. The materials must have been purchased during the confinement period, from March 17th to May 11th.

Second testing site for poorer neighbourhood in Marseille - A second testing site for the coronavirus has been opened in Marseille. The site in the northern district of the city is the second to be set up following the first which was opened at the Timone hospital. Opened on Monday the site is located in one of the poorer districts and aims to make sure that there are no "cluster" cases of Covid-19 as a large part of the population in the northern neighbourhoods, where there is the highest number of social housing, is not confined due to the fact that its inhabitants work for the most part, in security, deliveries, waste collection or cashier.  

In accordance with recommendations from Professor Raoult who set up the first screenings at Marseille hospital the city of Marseille has followed his advice and opened this second site. 

Bakery in Tourettes sur Loup - In addition to confinement measures implemented by the French governement some mayors are in the region are taking additional action. In Tourrettes-sur-Loup, since Friday, the sale of take-away coffee at the local bakery has been prohibited.

Balcony safety  - Part of a balcony has fallen from a second floor apartment in Nice located on Rue Monseigneur Alfred Daumas. The occupant, alerted by her neighbour noticed the lower part of her balcony was missing at 11 a.m. on Monday. Fortunately there was no one below and the debris fell on a terrace below. Local police and firefighters intervened to remove the pieces of plaster. 

The incident is not an isolated case. In 2010, a 65-year-old man died after a balcony on the 3rd floor of the Toscana Palace on avenue Malaussena collapsed and in June 2019, a fragment of a balcony on the 3rd floor of the Winter Palace on boulevard de Cimiez collapsed. Fortunately, there were no injuries. 

SNCF - The SNCF has asked its users to wait before using the online ticket service as it is currently showing all  TGVs are already fully booked for May 11 but also in the days that follow, it is because the SNCF has yet to finalise its transport plan.

Air France - Meanwhile Air France is taking measures: the company has been distributing masks since Sunday at the entrance of planes to customers who do not have one. 

Public authorities and associations, get involved in the fight against the epidemic - To tackle together this period of Covid-19 health crisis and guarantee the continuity of vital activities so that the poorest and most vulnerable are not the first victims of this epidemic, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has called on the French to "invent new forms of solidarity".

In order to allow all those who can and who wish to get involved and give their time, the Government has launched

This platform allows structures (associations, CCAS, MDPH, communities, public operators, etc.) to report their reinforcement needs around 4 vital missions: food and emergency aid, childcare, contact with isolated vulnerable people such as the elderly, sick or disabled through calls and email and proximity solidarity for example shopping for essential products for neighbors who are vulnerable , isolated or disabled.

To find out more go to

Results show that Covid-19 cannot be transmitted by animals or contaminated food - According to results released by the ANSES the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Security, domestic animals have no role in the transmission of the coronavirus, nor does consumption of infected food.

A few examples of contamination of animals have been reported in the past, such as two dogs in Hong Kong, a cat in Belgium and a tiger at a zoo in New York, which raisied the question of their role in the transmission and the spread of the virus. Studies, however, have since been carried out by the ANSES, and the results, to date, show that domestic animals have no impact in the transmission of Covid-19.

Experts also draw on studies from the start of the epidemic. According to a Chinese study, dogs are not very receptive to the virus, just like pigs and ducks. Cats are said to be a target for Covid-19, especially kittens. However, "there is currently no scientific evidence as to the transmission of the coronavirus from a domestic animal infected to humans," insists the ANSES.

Nevertheless, the ANSES says that it is advisable to put in place "basic hygiene measures" after any contact with their domestic animal or with its food or litter such as hand washing. In order to avoid human-animal contamination.

Concerning the consumption of infected food the ANSES experts again point out the need for basic hygiene rules yet, contamination by Covid-19 by ingesting a raw or undercooked food carrying the virus also seems to have been ruled out by the analyzes.

Shooting in Nice - Two Chechen nationals have been injured after a shooting in the east of Nice at the weekend. The two admitted themselves to the A&E at Cannes hospital. An investigation has been opened into the reasons for the shooting, but witnesses interviewed on the spot were reportedly not very cooperative. The investigation continues. 

Riots in northern suburb of Paris continue - Police and youths clashed have clashed for a third night in a northern suburb of Paris. Strict lockdown rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus have threatened a fragile social peace in several deprived areas.

Riots first broke out in Villeneuve-La-Garenne, to the north of Paris, at the weekend after a motorcyclist was hurt when he collided with the open door of an unmarked police car.

Calm was restored in the early hours of Sunday but later reignited. Fireworks being aimed in the direction of officers and bins were set on fire, Police responded with tear gas.


As the White House argues that the worst of the Pandemic is over and the country can begin reopening, US President Donald Trump has said he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend all immigration to the US to fight the coronavirus.

On Twitter, he cited "the attack from the Invisible Enemy", as he calls coronavirus, "as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens".

The US has already agreed with both Canada and Mexico to extend border restrictions on non-essential travel until at least mid-May.

Meanwhile the price of US oil has turned negative for the first time in history. What does this mean? it means that oil producers are paying buyers to take the commodity off their hands over fears that storage capacity could run out in May.

Following lockdowns across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic the demand for oil has all but dried up resulting in oil firms having to rent tankers in order to store the surplus supply forcing the price of US oil into negative territory.

Facebook has banned event listings that violate US government social distancing policies. On Monday, the social media giant removed the listing for anti-quarantine protests in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska.

The discussion sparked outrage from some including the son of President Donald Trump who claimed the company's move violated free speech. Protests have been planned for across the US calling for the lifting of stay-at-home orders.

And - In an attempt to persuade the UK government to save his airline company Virgin Atlantic from going bust Sir Richard Branson has said in a public blogpost that he will put his own private Caribbean island up as collateral. 

With an estimated 4.7 billion pound fortune Branson who lives on Necker Island in the tax-free British Virgin Islands has made the pledge in an attempt to convince the government to give a 500 million pound bailout to help the company through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Branson the UKs 7th richest person has faced  mounting criticism for pleading for taxpayers’ cash, rather than using his own fortune to rescue the airline. Branson founded Virgin Atlantic  in 1984 and retains a 51% stake alongside the US airline Delta with 49%.

Meanwhile it was reported this morning that Virgin Australia of which the Virgin group is a part owner has confirmed it has entered voluntary administration - making it Australia's first big corporate casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.


Football - The UKs government's deputy head scientific adviser has said that following speculation over a possible link between coronavirus cases in Liverpool and the club's Champions League match with Atletico Madrid last month a investigation should be carried out. 

Some coronavirus deaths in Liverpool have been blamed on the March 11th Match at Anfield , which was attended by more than 52,000 people, including 3,000 from Madrid, where a partial lockdown was already in force.

Tennis - World Number One Novak Djokovic  has said that "his opposition to vaccinations may get in the way of his return to competitive tennis" adding that he wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel".  So what will happen if it becomes compulsory?  "well II will have to make a decision" he concluded.

“Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine and there is no vaccine yet.”

Cycling - Former Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has raised more than £350,000 for the NHS after completing a trio of 12-hour rides over three days. Thomas rode on a turbo bike in his garage at home in Cardiff for 36 hours over the course of three days. 


Rain across the region with highs of 20 degrees and a moderate north easterly wind. 

This evening going down to 14 degrees and cloudy. The outlook for Wednesday, starting off mainly fine with some cloudy patches brightening up by the afternoon in the Alpes Maritimes, showers expected to continue in the Var. Thursday rain expected to have eased off with sunny spells and highs of 21 degrees. 





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