Lunchtime News Friday 11th December 2020


Covid-19 – Local media has this morning reported that recent figures from Public Health France show that the number of patients hospitalised for Covid-19 in the Alpes Maritimes has reached a new record overtaking the peak of cases during the first wave of Covid-19.

On Thursday a record number of 485 patients were hospitalised, a figure which largely overtakes the peak of 282 patients hospitalised during the first wave on 14th April.

9 new deaths from Covid-19 were also reported on Thursday in the Alpes Maritimes, six in the region’s hospitals and three in the regions nursing homes, bringing the total number of deaths to 606 in the Alpes Maritimes since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, the number of patients in intensive care in the Alpes Maritimes appears stable yet high with 57 people being cared for, occupying 75% of available beds in intensive care.

Monaco - Meanwhile in Monaco two new positive cases of Covid-19 were declared on Thursday. The Principality's health record stands at 657 residents affected by the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Nine people are being cared for at the Princess Grace Hospital including two residents. In addition, two patients including a resident are in intensive care.

Six people had recovered on Thursday and the total number of patients which have made a recovery in the Principality stands at 591.

25 people are followed by the Home Monitoring Center which medically supports patients, with few symptoms, invited to confine themselves at home.

Ski lifts of ski resorts will not reopen - It’s official the Council of State has finally ruled that the ski lifts of ski resorts will not reopen at the end of 2020.

A big disappointment for the regions ski resorts the Council of State confirmed the closure of ski lifts this morning.

Several local authorities and organizations representing the winter sports industry had seized the Council of State, requesting the closure to be suspended.

In a statement the Council of State said that "the Covid-19 epidemic remains at a high level, which is putting great pressure on the health system, especially in regions where winter sports are practiced." The measure has nonetheless been contested by several local authorities and organizations from the industry. 

Woman killed in shark attack in French West Indies - A woman has been killed by a shark in Saint-Martin in the French West Indies.

The shark tore the leg of the victim, who was found unconscious on a beach near a restaurant. Swimming and water activities were banned for 48 hours.

The 39-year-old woman died on Thursday evening following the attack. The Collectivité de Saint-Martin published a decree which specifies that swimming and nautical activities are strictly prohibited for 48 hours on all the beaches in the area.

CO2 emissions - European Union leaders have agreed to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

Following a night of negotiations in Brussels an agreement was reached to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by "at least 55%" by 2030 an increase to a previous target of 40%.

The Heads of State and Governments adopted the "ambitious proposal for a new climate objective”.

According to the annual report published today the agreement comes as CO2 emissions of fossil origin have experienced a record drop of 7% in 2020, linked to Covid-19 lockdown measures. While such a decrease has never been observed before. The drop will not be enough to halt global warming.

Mosquitoes - Despite winter approaching you may have been recently awakened by the annoying buzz of a mosquito.

According to one mosquito specialist Anna-Bella Failloux, from the Institut Pasteur, mosquitoes which are less active than in the summer, are sensitive to “ambient temperatures” and while being bitten remains exceptional, it can still happen and the most common place to encounter mosquitoes in the winter period is the Paris metro. A "phenomenon which is also very well documented on the London Underground, where mosquitoes have adapted to the corridors of the underground and no longer come out”.

Another factor to take into account says the scientist is global warming, which increases the activity of mosquitoes. So much so that "the mosquito control campaigns in the south of France are being maintained for longer”.

And if there is one species that has taken its ease in France, it is the tiger mosquito. "Since arriving from Asia in 2004, it has moved from the south of France to Alsace" and has invaded 58 of the 96 departments in France, according to the latest census map from Public Health France.

In the eyes of scientists, this insect is dangerous. If a tiger mosquito sucks the blood of a person who carries the dengue, chikungunya or Zika virus, then it becomes a carrier for life and can infect any new person bitten.



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