French and Riviera News Wednesday 3rd February 2021

News 

Three Monegasque residents die from Covid - Three Monegasque residents aged 82, 90 and 92 have died from Covid. Speaking on Tuesday evening, the Minister of State Pierre Dartout said “this evening we deplore a particularly heavy death toll and on behalf of the Princely Government, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families and relatives of these people, adding that he assures them of the full support of the Princely Government at these times of great sadness for the entire national community". Since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis a total of 17 residents have died from Covid. Forty-four new cases of Covid were identified on Tuesday bringing the total number of residents affected in the Principality to 1,543. Sixty-two people are currently in hospital and 127 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

Covid figures for the Alpes Maritimes - Meanwhile the Regional Health Agency (ARS) has announced 55 new deaths from Covid-19 in the Alpes-Maritimes on Tuesday. The increase comes due to the update of deaths in nursing homes in the region. 39 of the 55 deaths occurred in nursing homes and 16 in hospitals. Since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus has claimed 1,187 victims in the Alpes Maritimes, 838 in hospitals and 349 in nursing homes. Latest figures show that the number of people being hospitalized is decreasing slightly with 371 Covid patients. The incidence rate also decreased slightly with 450 new cases detected over seven days per 100,000 inhabitants.

Strike action - As teaching unions call for strike action tomorrow Thursday 4th February, ten schools in Grasse have already taken necessary action to guarantee a minimum reception service here are the details: 

- Henri Wallon nursery school plans to organize a Minimum Reception Service for school children from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. There will be no morning nursery or school catering service; the extracurricular, however, will function normally for enrolled children.

- The Jasmins nursery school will also offer a Minimum Reception Service for school children from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. There will be no morning nursery or canteen. The extracurricular will operate normally for enrolled children.

- Jean Crabalona nursery school will not have a morning nursery or canteen. But the extracurricular will work normally for enrolled children.

- Les Cinsault nursery school will have no morning nursery, canteen, or school transport. The extracurricular, on the other hand, will work normally for enrolled children.

- Saint-Antoine nursery school will not have school transport either. But the morning nursery, school catering and extracurricular activities will function normally for registered children.

- Saint-Jacques elementary school will not open its morning nursery or canteen. The extracurricular will operate normally for enrolled children.

- Antoine Maure elementary school will not offer morning nursery or school catering services. The extracurricular will operate normally for enrolled children.

- Saint-Antoine elementary school will not open its morning nursery, nor its school catering. There  will  be no school transportation. The extracurricular will operate normally for enrolled children.

- Macary Elementary School will not offer school transport. But the morning nursery, school catering and extracurricular activities will function normally for registered children.

- The Pra d'Estang elementary school will not open its morning nursery or its canteen. The extracurricular will work normally for enrolled children

Speed cameras - In an attempt to clamp down on speeding, six speed cameras have been installed on the Moyenne Corniche, between Roquebrune and Beausoleil. The aim is to improve this stretch of road which is “accident-prone” with motorists driving at particularly “high speeds”.

Emmanuel Macron speaks of vaccination campaign and hopes to avoid a third lockdown - French President Emmanuel Macron has given a surprise interview on French television. During his appearance on TF1 on Tuesday evening, the Head of State assured that “by the end of the summer France will have offered all French adults who wish, a vaccine. While many expected Macron to speak of a possible return to lockdown the President of the Republic chose to speak on the vaccination campaign in France. He said that Europe had "secured" the supply of a total of "2.3 billion" doses, enough to allow all French adults who wish to benefit from it at the latest this summer. He also mentioned the French contribution to the production of doses and a possible authorization of the Russian vaccine.

He also estimated that, "at the beginning of March", the 80% of residents of nursing homes who have requested to be vaccinated will have been vaccinated, i.e. around 500,000 people and that those over 75 will also have been "largely" vaccinated.

Asked about the Sputnik V vaccine, whose effectiveness was estimated at 91.6% in a recent study, the Head of State replied that no distribution in France was possible "as long as the Russian producer had not submitted an application for marketing authorization". "The minute this is submitted, the European authorities and our national authorities will scientifically examine the vaccine independently, and, depending on results and the evidence, will approve it or not”.

The President underlined that "It is not France’s vaccination strategy which will make it possible to avoid, in the short term, a return to lockdown”, but "it is our mobilization to all, that is to say our ability to respect barrier gestures along with the ability to test-support-protect". Concluding that "France will continue to manage the pandemic in this way, with an objective to hold out, to protect the weakest, to protect our health system and to be able to protect as much as possible the younger generations who need to study, go to school, in short, to have a country as open as possible despite the virus”.

French doctor warns of variant - Meanwhile the President of the Public Assistance Hospitals of Paris has said that he expects the English coronavirus variant to "gain the upper hand". Speaking to French media Professor Rémi Salomon said that in the Paris region the variant accounted for 15 to 20% of cases last week, up from 6% on 7th January and is growing exponentially. He added that the coronavirus measures in place at the moment will not be enough and called for a return to lockdown including the closure of schools.

France’s Europe minister claims that Britain “has taken a lot of risks” with its vaccination campaign - France’s Europe minister Clément Beaune has said that Britain has taken “a lot of risks” in rolling out its speedy Covid vaccination programme as officials in Brussels claimed the EU had “nothing to envy” from nations such as the UK, the US and Israel.

The European commission has in recent days, been locked in a bitter public fight with AstraZeneca, over a significant shortfall in expected doses in the first quarter of 2021. Which raised questions about how momentum will be gained in the coming weeks. On Monday, Beaune also defended the EU’s record, adding that the UK’s apparent success had “nothing to do with Brexit”. He claimed the UK strategy had involved risks that France’s public would have found intolerable.

Monaco’s Minister of State meets with France’s Europe Minister - Meanwhile