French and Riviera news Wednesday 25th March 2020

Four new cases of coronavirus in Monaco - The Minister of Social Affairs and Health in Monaco has confirmed  four new positive cases at Covid19 in the Principality since Sunday evening, bringing the total to 27 proven cases including one who has made a full recovery. "Ten of them are hospitalized, the others are being followed at home but not all of them are Monegasque residents" said the Minister, taking into account that the CHPG takes care of people from neighboring municipalities. 

Regarding the use of chloroquine, the health minister, Didier Gamerdinger indicated that the CHPG used this molecule under very close medical supervision while being attentive to its undesirable side effects. "The Minister of State has taken a decision to preserve stocks in the Principality and prevent dangerous self-medication

The Minister indicated that « Because this molecule presents risks of improper use and overdose causing cardiac and renal problems, it will only be delivered or used after close control and under medical supervision ». Concerning deliveries of hydroalcoholic gel, a massive distribution was made to health professionals. A very significant arrival of masks is expected for the coming days.

The minister concluded that « the health situation in the Principality  remains manageable as there is not yet a very rapid increase in the epidemic ».

Meanwhile according to the update communicated by the ARS on Tuesday evening.  1,595 people tested positive for coronavirus in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, 509 are hospitalized. 133 people are in intensive care. 26 people who tested positive have died.

Confinement period most likely to be extended - As France reaches the end of its second week of confinement due to the coronavirus,  the French government says it now looks highly likely that the confinement measures will be extended to at least another six weeks. Last week saw some reports suggest until 25th April and  it would now  appear that it would be until at least 10th May. 

The news comes, as France on Tuesday went over the 1,000 mark for the number of deaths caused by the virus reaching 1,100 deaths since the start of the epidemic. In total, 2,516 patients were  in intensive care on Tuesday evening, out of a total of 10,176 hospitalized patients.

New certificate - Following the French Prime minister’s announcement of tougher lockdown measures to be enforced for several more weeks in order to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19.

The government has posted online on Tuesday its new certificate for circulating. 

The form now has a box to indicate the time of exit, as Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced during his speech on Monday evening. The certificate is available on the government website.

The region in France the least affected by coronavirus Pay de la Loire - The regional health agency (ARS) of Pays-de-la-Loire has published  the latest assessment of the coronavirus epidemic on its territory. Some 291 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have now been identified. A figure to put into perspective since the screenings are no longer systematic with authorities reminding that the number of real cases is probably much higher.

However, on the basis of the statistical data, the Pays-de-la-Loire remains the region of metropolitan France least affected by the spread of the virus. Corsica lists, of course, fewer cases, but its population is much lower (56 cases per 100,000 inhabitants against 7.7 cases per 100,000 in Pays-de-la-Loire).

The regions most affected are, for the time being, Ile-de-France (6,200 confirmed cases) and Grand Est (4,200 cases).

Ten people officially died in Pays-de-la-Loire, including three at the Angers University Hospital and three at the Nantes University Hospital, says ARS. All were aged 75 and over. In addition, 51 people suffering from Covid-19 are currently in intensive care.

Hôtels in the region ready to accommodate - The President of the Hotel and Tourism Federation UMIH Nice Côte d'Azur, Denis Cippolini, has made it clear that "the framework agreement for emergency hotel accommodation signed between the State and Federation means that the Côte d’Azur is "ready to make available almost 900 rooms within 24 hours for urgent requests from the prefecture services which would concern the accommodation of nursing staff, lorry drivers, police and the  homeless.

A device which also includes sick people, for example suffering from cancer, who do not live in Nice and must stay near the hospital where they receive their treatment but without having daily care.

Meanwhile The AGPM group, the specialist insurer in the Defense and Security community has announced in a press release, that it’s donated 550 masks to liberal doctors and nurses in the Var.

The AGPM group specifies that it has donated 100 FFP2 masks and 450 surgical masks. These masks will then be distributed to liberal doctors and nurses in the Var who are currently suffering from a dramatic shortage. 

Nice to follow Paris and Monaco in disinfecting public spaces - Similar to Paris and the Principality of Monaco, Nice the capital of the French Riviera will disinfect its public spaces from Thursday

Disinfection agents will be deployed to fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

"The city's cleanliness teams [Nice Côte d´Azur] will ensure the disinfection of public spaces located in front of priority establishments the most frequented sites in Nice: hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, shopping centers," said the community. 

The operation, scheduled to start no earlier than Thursday morning, will be carried out three days a week before the public arrives, by spraying disinfectant. "The product acts for ten minutes and is then rinsed with plenty of water,".

The product in question, based on highly diluted bleach, "will have no impact on the environment", advises the community, still awaiting to receive all the disinfectant and protective equipment for the necessary agents.

Montpellier introduced limited public transport - The mayor of Montpellier, has requested the suspension of all bus routes and the tram network, due to the spread of Covid-19.

There will be a limited service, from today Wednesday 25th March. The transport union has called for an alternative transport service to be set up to at least cater for those that still rely on public transport particularly nursing staff, adding that the service would be reinforced with the necessary security measures.

From Wednesday, the trams will run from 5 am to midnight every day, "but with a limited frequency". 

In addition, taking the bus and the tram will now be free, and subscribers will be able to be reimbursed at the end of the confinement period. 

16 people die from coronavirus in nursing home in Paris - According to information from the Parisian, following the coronavirus epidemic, a Parisian nursing home located in the 12th arrondissement has been particularly affected. 16 people have died in the establishment, and 81 are currently positive for Covid-19. The home welcomes 510 residents. The vast majority of those who died are over 90 years of age.

Among the staff of the establishment, twenty are positive for Covid-19. A psychological unit is organized on site to help the families of the victims. “

Paris least congested city in France during confinement - According to data from TomTom due to the coronavirus Paris has become the least congested city in France.

While in other major cities in France we still notice the usual peaks of traffic in the morning and evening Paris, usually the most congested city in France, is on the contrary the least congested during this period of confinement.

MOT centres in France - MOT centres in France remain authorized to open during the coronavirus crisis provided that they comply with the health regulations in force. But many professionals preferred to close as a precaution. And it’s been announced that the State has granted an exceptional period, to respond to a situation which is just as important. "A tolerance of three months is granted for the deadline for the MOT or contrôle technique in French of light vehicles", 

The control of heavy goods vehicles and vehicles dedicated to public transport "must continue, given the major security issues". But here again, a tolerance is granted, limited to 15 days.




Tuesday’s big gains on world stock markets followed weeks of losses driven by the global economic slowdown.

Business activity in the US and Eurozone has sunk to its lowest levels on record this month according to a survey by ISH Markit as authorities close schools and businesses and limit travel in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Many countries around the world have been working on financial packages to cushion the economic blow but the plans have received a mixed response from investors.

In the United States ,Congressional leaders have said that they’re close to a deal on a relief package for businesses and consumers worth in excess of 1.8 trillion dollars.

Action by the US government would follow aggressive efforts by the Federal Reserve including a pledge to buy as much government debt as necessary to soothe markets while also lending directly to businesses.

However ,few experts think that markets have seen the last of heavy rounds of selling and periods of illiquidity that have plagued stocks during a month-long sell off that’s slammed everything from equities to oil.

US stock futures have been trading down again this morning.


Facebook says that its seen a surge in platform uses across countries that have introduced virus lockdowns.

Italy has seen the biggest rise with group video calls rocketing by more than 1,000 percent in the past month.

The social media giant says that total messaging traffic on all of its platforms has increased by an average 50 percent across the hardest hit countries.

However ,the firm said that higher usage would not protect it from expected falls in digital advertising across the world.

The company added that it had seen a 70 percent rise in time spent on Facebook-owned apps.



And-Detroit’s 3 big vehicle makers are planning to extend a current production shutdown in North America into April according to media reports.

Ford ,General Motors and Fiat Chrysler said last week that they were halting all vehicle production until the end of the month and sources say that’s likely to continue now until at least the 6th of April and probably beyond.

On Monday ,a group representing major US and foreign vehicle makers warned that industry analysts are expecting sales to be down as much as 40 percent in March compared with the same month last year.

95 percent of all American car-plants are currently shut.




Olympics-The Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed for one year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The president of the IOC Thomas Bach and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that they were in 100 percent agreement that the games would be put off and would now be held “no later than the summer of 2021”.

In a joint statement ,the IOC and the organisers of Tokyo 2020 said that “the unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the virus outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating” and that they had no choice but to postpone the games.


Football-The Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has donated a million euros to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in Spain.

Guardiola who is currently at his home in Barcelona  said that he’d been working with his lawyers over the past few days to work out the best way of using the money.

The funds will go to a campaign being organised by the Medical College of Barcelona and the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation.

Spain is one of the worst affected in Europe with more than 2,700 deaths and close to 40,000 infections.


Rugby Union-The National Stadium in Wales could be used to help authorities tackle the coronavirus epidemic.

The Welsh Rugby Union says that it’s been approached by the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Health Service about use of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The WRU said that the Stadium would be made available when and if required.


Racing-All racing in Ireland is to be halted following new restrictions because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Action has been taking place behind closed doors but no fixtures will be allowed now until at least the 19th of April.

On Tuesday the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that all sporting fixtures in the Republic of Ireland were being cancelled from midnight because of the pandemic.




Sunshine and showers with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 5 degrees on the coast and 1 degrees inland with a widespread frost.

Thursday and Friday-Remaining quite unsettled with further showers possible.A bit warmer on Friday. Highs of 12-15 degrees.



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