French and Riviera News Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Coronavirus - An additional nine people have died from the coronavirus in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var according to the latest figures. Two deaths occurred in hospital in the Alpes Maritimes and 7 in the Var, 3 in hospital and 4 in nursing homes. 

Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, 338 deaths have been recorded in both these regions. In the Alpes Maritimes 270 people are currently hospitalised and 48 are in intensive care and in the Var 318 people are in hospital and 50 are in intensive care. 

The good news is that on Tuesday there were 8 fewer people hospitalized for Covid-19 in Nice. This is the largest drop since the start of the coronavirus epidemic and four people also left intensive care. 

There is also a slight drop in hospitalizations in the Var with 5 people leaving hospital on Tuesday. However, an additional patient was admitted to an intensive care unit.

Here in Monaco there were no new cases reported on Tuesday evening. 

France has registered more than 20,000 deaths related to Covid-19 infection, there are fewer admissions in hospitals and intensive care units. The country is getting ready for a gradual lockdown exit but French scientists have warned of a potential second wave of the virus.

The head of the French public health authority has announced that the coronavirus curve had passed its peak, adding that 5,683 patients were receiving intensive care for the virus on Monday 20th April, down from a peak of 7,148 on April 8th.

There is also data indicating that a person with COVID-19 in France was now infecting on average less than one other person, as opposed to three before the country went into lockdown on 17th March, more than a month ago.

Air pollution - According to research high levels of air pollution may be “one of the most important contributors” to deaths from Covid-19. The report shows that of the coronavirus deaths across 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany 78% of them occurred in just five regions, and these were the most polluted.

Masks - Menton city council has announced this week the launch of "Masks for All". The fabric masks are to help limit and slow the spread of the current epidemic. More than 150,000 masks have been ordered. Distribution will be made through "drive ins" in various districts. There is a special delivery service for the elderly and vulnerable. 

In Roquebrune-Cap-Martin there are plans to distribute masks to the entire population from May 5th.  On April 8, the city ordered 30,000 washable approved masks. The city council will rece