French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th April 2020


Coronavirus - France has recorded its worst daily toll on Monday, of deaths due to the coronavirus.  Since the start of the epidemic, a total of 8,911 deaths have occurred in French hospitals. The latest figures released on Monday evening showed that 605 people had died in 24 hours. Since March 1st, 2,417 deaths have occurred in nursing homes in France bringing the total number of coronavirus victims in France to 8,911 people, an increase of 833 dead since the last count, made on Sunday.

7,072 patients are still in intensive care said the Minister of Health, 94 more since Sunday. A total of 29,722 people are currently hospitalized and 17,250 people have left hospital having recovered from the virus.

Meanwhile figures in the region show that since the beginning of the epidemic in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, 88 patients have died from Covid-19 in hospital, and 31 in a nursing home in Mougins. Nine people died of Covid-19 on Monday in hospitals, in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes regions. In the Alpes-Maritimes, the death toll rose from 43 to 47 dead. 233 people are currently hospitalized. 80 other patients are in intensive care.

In Monaco four new cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday evening. The total number of cases to date is 77, of which 4 patients have been cured and two have died.12 patients are in hospital of which 4 are in intensive care.

Marseille - An army of researchers and doctors in Marseille have joined forces  to try to understand the immune responses to Covid-19. The study has one goal - to find as quickly as possible new treatments.

The disease caused by the coronavirus has been named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization. The research project is entitled "Explore Covid-19"  and will concentrate on the 15% of patients most affected. More than forty doctors and researchers who have been working since April 1st , on  blood samples taken from a hundred patients will study the immune response to infected patients.

This is the first study based on observation. Professor Eric Vivier explains that while  "85% of people with Covid-19 manage on their own the cases being studied are the remaining 15%, whose symptoms lead to emergencies, and who end up being hospitalized,"

Meanwhile Jean Castex, a senior official with knowledge of the healthcare sector, has been chosen to pilot France's strategy on easing Covid-19 lockdown measures. Castex must do so without triggering a second wave of infections.

When it comes to experience, Jean Castex ticks all the right boxes. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe last Thursday described him as "incredibly efficient" during a televised address to the nation that broke with his usual reserve.

Several politicians have also come out in praise of the man now in charge of orchestrating the country's process of "deconfinement," or the end of the confinement period which Philippe himself admitted would be "fearsomely complex".

Dermatologists warn of possible skin complaints due to the coronavirus - In a press release the National Syndicate of Dermatologists in France has reported that in some cases of Covid-19 patients may suffer a sudden onset of sometimes painful redness and temporary skin irritations. The Syndicate warns of symptoms which can potentially appear on the skin in the event of a contraction of the disease "Potentially contagious". The dermatologists' union has therefore suggested that, if these skin symptoms occur, patients should consult a professional in the sector as soon as possible. 

Increased measures in Nice due to non respect of confinement measures - The mayor of Nice Chrisitan Estorsi has stepped up measures due to the coronavirus and due to too many people continuing to ignore confinement regulations in Nice. 

Wearing a mask will become obligatiory in Nice. The masks which will be re-usable for a month are set to be distributed in about ten days time. A further announcement will be made in two days time as to how they will be distributed. 

Hundeds of fines have been issued in Nice and some poeple have now been placed in police custody for failing to respect regulations in place to help stem the spread of the virus. 

The curfew which is currently in place from 11pm to 5am is expected to be moved forward to 8pm in some areas where people are refusing to cooperate including the city centre and east of the city, Notre-Dame, Trachel and Saint-Charles.

Finally the right to go out and exercise has seen too many people using it as an excuse to go out in pairs or meet with family memebrs so fixed times have been introduced from 6am to midday and from 6pm to 8pm. 

Digital travel certificate - A digital travel certificate has been made available by the French government for all outings during the confinement period. To download the digital certificate you can go to The paper version of the certificate remains valid but all certificates must be updated with the date, reason and time of leaving your domicile.

Coronabonds - Two European commissioners have urged Germany to agree to the EU issuing joint debt to fight the coronavirus crisis, as wealthy northern nations remain reluctant to back the so-called coronabonds.

The Spanish Prime Minister has urged the EU to issue the bonds to help the bloc's hardest hit countries fund their battle against the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Netherlands, Germany and Austria remain reluctant. 

The proposal of coronabonds is to come up with new funding to counter the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has most people in the EU confined to their homes and has caused the global economy to grind to a virtual standstill.

A bond, essentially an IOU with a serial number, is issued by governments or companies in need of money. Bonds expire after a fixed amount of time and generate a fixed interest, that is usually paid twice a year. 

French Prime Minister sends ful support to Boris Johnson - French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron has expressed his "full support" to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after it was announced on Monday evening that the Prime Minister had been moved into intensive care. Macron tweeted "My full support for Boris Johnson, his family and the British people at this difficult time. I hope he overcomes this ordeal quickly. 

Map ending home confinement is a fake - A map which has been circulating on social media showing France divided into three zones with dates for when each zone will end home confinement is a fake.  Both the French prime minister's office and the Directorate General of Health have issued statements that the map is false. No official statements have been made about such an end to confinement. The French government is exploring several scenarios. 

Artists raise money for carers - Online auctions offering works by renowned artists have raised more than 2.4 million euros for carers.  Nearly 400 lots offered by artists, collectors and gallery owners have been dispersed for the benefit of the # ProtègeTonSoignant collective. The entire auction is intended to help hospital structures, city doctors, liberal nurses and nursing assistants for the purchase of protective equipment, respirators or for the transport costs of these personnel during the health crisis. .

The collective # ProtègeTonSoignant brings together doctors, medical teachers, entrepreneurs, artists and committed citizens with the mission of helping and supporting the caregivers who fight Covid-19 on a daily basis.




President Trump has said that Opec has not asked the United States to make cuts in its oil production to support global prices.

At a White House press conference on Monday ,Mr Trump said that he thought US production cuts were happening “automatically” but that nobody had yet asked him the question.

Reports say that major oil producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia will agree to a cut in production at a meeting on Thursday but only if the United States joins the effort.

A source close to Opec said on Monday that without the United States there could be “no deal”.

Worldwide demand for oil has slumped by some 30 percent as the coronavirus pandemic brings the global economy to a standstill.Prices have also fallen following a row between Saudi Arabia on Russia who have both increased supply which has worsened the situation.

The United States is now the world’s largest producer of oil and gas and cutting production would affect US jobs in terms of layoffs and bankruptcies.


More than 100 global organisations are calling for the debt repayments of developing nations to be scrapped this year.

Major charities including Oxfam and ActionAid International say that debt relief for poor nations could free up more than 25 billion dollars.

They’ve written to world leaders and major central banks calling for a range of debt relief measures.

The campaigners want debt payments to be cancelled with immediate effect including payments to private creditors.

Calculations have shown that 69 of the world’s poorest countries are due to pay 19.5 billion dollars to other governments and multilateral institutions and 6 billion to external private lenders this year.


And-Environmental groups and trade unions have written to governments opposing plans to bail out the aviation industry.

The open letter to governments says that any bailouts must lead to better working conditions and a cut in emissions.

It adds that airlines should make changes to the way they operate and contribute more to global climate goals.

The informal group which is called “Stay Grounded”  says that airlines are demanding huge and unconditional taxpayer-backed bailouts  which is not acceptable in the current crisis.It adds that the aviation industry must not be allowed to “get away” with maximising profits in the good times and then expect the public to pay for its losses in the bad times.




Football-Liverpool have reversed a decision to furlough non-playing staff at the club and apologised to fans.

On Saturday ,the club said that it was going to apply to the government’s taxpayer funded job retention scheme which sparked a fierce backlash.

In a letter to the club’s fans ,the Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore said that “we believe we came to the wrong decision last week and are truly sorry”.

He added that the club had opted to find “alternative measures” to pay staff.


Golf-The Open Championship has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Open had been due to be held at Royal St George’s in Kent but will now be hosted at the venue in 2021.

The three other Majors have been rescheduled with the Masters put back until November and the US PGA now scheduled to be played in August.

The US Open at Winged Foot New York is being moved from June to September ,a week before the Ryder Cup.


Formula 1-The sport’s bosses have agreed to look in closer detail into the issues around lowering a budget cap for 2021.

The decision was made following an emergency meeting on Monday but the top three teams are resisting proposals to push the budget cap lower from 175 million dollars to 125 million.

A bid to delay new rules by a further year to 2023 was also rejected.

The McLaren boss Zak Brown has warned that Formula 1 is in a “very fragile state” and said that it was imperative to reduce the budget cap to 125 million dollars to ward off the threat of teams quitting the sport.




Clear skies  with light  south easterly winds.

Top temperature 19-21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 18-21 degrees.



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