French and Riviera News Wednesday 20th January 2021


32 additional deaths from Covid in the Alpes Maritimes - The regional health agency has announced that 32 additional deaths from Covid have been reported in the Alpes Maritimes region. Figures released on Tuesday showed that six people had died in the region’s hospitals and 26 in nursing homes. The additional deaths see the total number of deaths linked to Covid in the Alpes Maritimes pass the 1,000 mark with 1,003 deaths registered to date since the start of the pandemic. There were fourteen new admissions to hospital on Tuesday. The good news is that the positivity rate stands at 8.5% compared to 9.2% on Monday.

Wastewater in Nice shows port area significantly affected by Covid - Figures released on Tuesday show that the rate of coronavirus present in Nice’s wastewater continues to increase. Since mid-November samples from the city’s wastewater have been taken to measure the presence of coronavirus which tripled between the first and second week of January as authorities are concerned that this could predict a possible resurge of the virus. According to the analysis, which covers different districts in Nice, the port area is strongly affected with, on January 8th, nearly 8% of the population contaminated with Covid-19. Magnan and the west of Nice showed the lowest concentration of coronavirus with less than 0.2% of the population affected.

Monaco Covid patient dies - Meanwhile on Tuesday evening the Monegasque authorities confirmed the death of an 87-year-old patient at the Princess Grace hospital from Covid. To date nine people have died from Covid in the Principality since the beginning of the pandemic. 28 new cases of Covid were identified on Tuesday bringing the total number of residents affected to 1,240. Thirty-six people are currently hospitalized and 114 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

Vaccination campaign - The Principality continues its vaccination campaign which was launched on December 31st with some 2,700 people over 75 being vaccinated and on Tuesday those between 65 and 74 along with those at high risk were invited to get vaccinated. This week a second shipment of doses of the Pzifer Biontech vaccine was stored in order to be able to administer the second injection to those over 75.

Fight breaks out on ferry from Bastia to Toulon - A young Corsican man has been sentenced to six months in prison for hitting a passenger aboard the ferry between Bastia and Toulon. The incident occurred on Friday when an altercation broke out between two passengers because one of them had taken off his mask.

New official photo of princely family goes on sale - The Prince's Palace has unveiled the new official photograph of the princely family. The photo, which was taken in the Prince's Palace by Eric Mathon, will go on sale today in the Principality's Souvenir Shop, all profits from the sale of the photo will be donated to humanitarian works in the Principality.

France’s Health Minister - French Health Minister Olivier Veran has said that "200 to 300" new cases of Covid-19 per day are believed to be carriers of the so-called British variant. He said that regional health agencies are tracing "chains of infection". Mr Veran said that France has recorded about 20,000 coronavirus infections per day for several weeks. He said that "there is no resurgence of the epidemic, but this high plateau is not satisfactory". He added that the 6 p.m. confinement is beginning to take effect.

Speaking to French media the minister said that he expects 2.4 million people in France to have received a vaccine by the end of February, a figure which could rise to four million if the Astra Zeneca vaccine and other vaccines were given approval. He said the system for making vaccination appointments would be improved. The exact number of doses of vaccines at each vaccination center across France will be published each week. Doses at a regional and departmental level will also be made public, with the first numbers being published on the website later this week.

Meanwhile, the French Ministry of Health has said that there have been 139 reports of "serious or unexpected" adverse reactions in France since the start of the vaccination campaign. Five people had died after being vaccinated, all of them being over 75 years of age and suffering from co-morbidities. However, it hasn't been possible at this stage to establish if their deaths were linked to the vaccine.

Weather warning – Meteo France has issued a weather warning due to strong winds and heavy rain expected today in the north and north west of the country before moving south towards Lyon and the southwest. Gusts of up to 100km/hr are forecast with heavy rain.

Winter sales - The winter sales are due to get underway across France today. The sales, which were originally scheduled to begin on the 8th January but were postponed because of the health crisis, will run until the 16th February.


The U