French and Riviera News Wednesday 22nd December 2021


First case of Omicron covid variant identified in the Alpes Maritimes - A first case of the Omicron covid variant has been detected in the Alpes-Maritimes. The case was confirmed by the Regional Health Agency on Tuesday 21st December and concerns a patient at the University Hospital of Nice.

Ten deaths from covid in the last 24 hours, a first since April - According to Public Health France ten deaths from covid were recorded in the last 24 hours on Tuesday, a first since April. The incidence rate continues to rise now standing at 936, a new record since the beginning of the epidemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,782 residents have died of covid in hospitals in the Alpes-Maritimes and 468 in nursing homes.

Level 5 triggered in hospitals in the PACA region as they struggle to cope with the wave of covid patients – Meanwhile the regional health agency for the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region has triggered level 5 in the region's hospitals. This is the highest level triggered in order to cope with hospital admissions and due to the new wave of covid patients all non-urgent intervention have been deprogrammed. The lack of beds, as well as staff has led to the decision and according to Professor Richard Nicollas, medical director of the Covid 19 crisis at the AP-HM (University Hospitals of Marseille) this is a critical situation, reminiscent of the first wave of March 2020.

Patients transferred to other regions - Medical transfers are also multiplying in an attempt to relieve hospitals in the PACA region with the Regional Health Agency (ARS) authorising the transfer of three new patients, hospitalized in intensive care in the Bouches-du-Rhônes. These medical transfers will take place today Wednesday 22nd December. The patients will be transferred to hospitals in Brittany and Normandy.

Obligation to wear a mask extended - The obligation to wear a mask in the Alpes-Maritimes has been renewed until the 5th January. The obligation concerns everyone from 11 eleven years of age. The wearing of a mask is compulsory indoors in all establishments open to the public. When physical distancing of at least two metres between people is possible, the wearing of a mask is not compulsory in urban green spaces, and the coastline. Full details of