French and Riviera News Wednesday 10th March 2021


French government is not expected to increase restrictions or ease measures - Ahead of today’s defense council meeting which is being held at the Elysee Palace to take stock of the health situation, reports say that the French government is not considering restricting or easing the measures currently in place in the fight against Covid. 

Today’s meeting is expected to give an update on the situation in the 23 departments of France which are placed under reinforced surveillance due to Covid. Apart from Dunkirk where the weekend lockdown has been extended "for the next three weekends” the government does not envisage any new restrictions. The Head of State is however particularly concerned with the situation in the Île-de-France where the incidence rate and the positivity rate are being closely monitored and following the cancellation of 40% of regular surgical procedures in hospitals in the Ile de France, where 400 beds were made available for patients with Covid-19.

League against cancer warns that thousands of cancer patients will die due to hospital cancelling surgical procedures – The president of the League against cancer Axel Kahn, has warned that due to hospitals cancelling regular surgical or medical procedures "thousands of cancer patients will die in the next five to six years”. Kahn went on to say that “people suffering from more serious diseases, which date from before Covid have seen their priority drop". 

Intensive care admissions continue to increase – As far as the lastest figures are concerned the number of Covid patients admitted to intensive care continues to increase in France. According to hospital data published on Tuesday 9th March there are 3,918 patients in intensive care units across France including 421 admitted in the last 24 hours. This number had reached below 2,600 at the beginning of January and is now at the same level as at the end of November, but is still far from figures reported during the first wave last spring, which showed 7,000 intensive care admissions in early April. 

In total, 25,201 patients were hospitalized on Tuesday across France, including 1,810 who arrived in the last 24 hours. Nearly 300 Covid-19 patients (299) died in hospital between Monday and Tuesday. France has more than 89,000 deaths since the start of the epidemic. 

Vaccination in France - France’s government has said general practitioners will be able to resume placing orders for the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine following an outcry over plans to make the jab solely available to pharmacists. French Health Minister Olivier Véran assured doctors that, contrary to a note issued by top health officials at the weekend, the government was not going to indefinitely suspend their capacity for delivering the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.  

In other national news

Teenage girl found drowned in the Seine had been a victim of bullying and social media harassment - According to French media, the 14-year-old girl found drowned in the Seine in Argenteuil on Monday March 8th had been the victim of school bullying for several weeks in particular, harassment on social media. One of the two teens implicated in her death is believed to have hacked the girl's Snapchat account to expose intimate content, photos and videos. The victim's mother had made a report last month for harassment to the school head. The two suspects, a 15-year-old teenager and his girlfriend of the same age, are still in custody.

Death threats - France’s National Assembly has taken action following death threats against MPs. The threats were sent to fifty elected officials from different parties, including local MP Eric Ciotti. Accompanied by photos, the threats were sent by email. At this stage the threats remain unclaimed and without a clear reason.

In local news

Homeless in Nice - 130 volunteers from sixteen associations have exposed the worrying number of homeless sleeping rough in Nice. An initiative launched by the Secours Populaire and Solidarité 06 gave alarming results for France's 5th largest city with 1,324 homeless. 324 are sleeping rough and a thousand are in emergency, temporary or precarious accommodation. 6% are between 18 and 24 years old and 33% are 55 years old and over. Secretary general of the Secours Populaire for the region Jean Stellittano, has been sounding the alarm for months on the explosion of poverty in Nice and in the department saying that “it’s very worrying that half of the homeless have been on the street for less than a year which means the sharp increase in poverty is clearly linked to the Co