French and Riviera News Tuesday 23rd March 2021

News 

Intensive care - More than 4,500 Covid patients are hospitalised in intensive care in France with Public Health France reporting 15,792 new cases of Covid on Monday 22nd March. 4,548 patients are being treated in intensive care including 471 new patients admitted in the last 24 hours. The number has been rising steadily since the lowest recorded on January 7th with 2,573 patients. In total, hospitals counted 26,488 patients with Covid-19, including 1,902 admitted in the last 24 hours. 344 people have died from Covid in hospitals in France in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 92,648 since the start of the pandemic.

In the Ile-de-France region the incidence rate is rising standing at 537 compared to just over 400 a week ago. This is more than twice the alert threshold of 250 set by the government. Speaking on Monday France’s Health Minister announced that the army and firefighters will be deployed in at least 35 large vaccination centres across the country in order to be able to use all the doses that will be delivered to France from April.

Alpes Maritimes - Meanwhile twenty additional deaths from Covid were reported in the Alpes Maritimes by the Regional Health Agency on Monday 22nd March. Since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus has killed 1,696 people in the department (1,253 in hospitals, 443 in nursing homes). The number of patients being hospitalised increased on Monday with 683 patients being admitted to hospital. 117 have been admitted to intensive care units with the occupancy rate in intensive care still close to saturation at 80.5%. According to Covidtracker, the incidence rate - which corresponds to the number of people tested positive over seven days and reported to 100,000 inhabitants - is 407 and continues to decline.

Monaco - In Monaco there were nine new cases of Covid identified on Monday bringing the total number of residents affected to 2,182. Thirty-one people are being treated in hospital and 56 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Police checks - Following the changes to a complex and misleading “attestation” for the 16 departments of France under lockdown which led to few police checks being carried out at the weekend, France’s Interior Minister announced on Monday that he had given instructions to the police to check travel certificates and to enforce the new health measures.

The Minister called for "a particular firmness” on respecting the curfew, private gatherings and the closing of the establishments receiving members of the public".  Checks will be stepped up in train stations and airports. The minister added that police must "systematically fine" those who do not have "a legitimate reason to travel”. Failure to comply with the new measures put in place by the government will result in a fine of 135 euros and in the event of non-payment, it may be increased to 375 euros. After 3 offenses within 30 days, the fine could amount to 3,750 euros and a sentence of 6 months imprisonment.

Covid campaign "Dedans avec les miens, dehors en citoyen" - France’s Prime Minister has launched a new communication campaign in the fight against Covid using the slogan "Dedans avec les miens, dehors en citoyen". The campaign hopes to clarify new recommendations given by the French government. Literally translated at "Inside with mine, outside as a citizen" the campaign aims to remind the French of the basic rules to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic.

"Inside with mine":

- I do not invite people into my home.

- I don't go to other people's homes.

- I regularly air my home.

- I no longer go out after 7pm, except for work or an emergency, with a certificate.

"Outside as a citizen":

- I can go out until 7pm for an authorised reason: to work, to go for a walk, to go shopping, to accompany my children to school, to take my pet out or to go to the doctor.

- Beyond 10 kilometres, I must have a certificate justifying the reason for my trip.

- I wear a mask and I respect self-distancing.

- I can meet my friends outside but restricted to a maximum of six and respecting barrier gestures.

- I avoid eating or drinking if I am not alone or if I am not with people in my household.

- I do not leave the region or my department except for compelling or professional reasons, justified by a certificate.

Sputnik V vaccine - Russian President Vladimir Putin has called comments made by a European Union official as “strange”. The official had announced that the EU had "absolutely no need" for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. Putin said "we're not imposing anything on anyone," and the remarks by EU's Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton "raises a q