Lunchtime News Friday 12th March 2021


Pressure increasing in French hospitals - As pressure in French hospitals increases due to Covid, the government is beginning to make it clear that it will not hesitate to toughen restrictive measures if necessary, especially in the Île-de-France.

Transferring patients to other regions of France and cancelling non-urgent operations may not be enough to alleviate the pressure in hospitals. An adviser to the French President has said to French media this morning that "everything is on the table for next week adding that we will have to look at the numbers in intensive care and measures will be increased if necessary”.

Mayor of Nice calls for a boost in the vaccination campaign - Speaking on French local radio this morning the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has asked for yet another boost to the vaccination campaign and affirmed that he could obtain tens of thousands of doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. He went on to say that the “Russian vaccine has demonstrated its effectiveness in 48 countries around the world and he asks the health authorities to grant permission”.

Estrosi said that the vaccination campaign must accelerate adding that he hoped all people over 75 and registered would be vaccinated at the end of this weekend. The mayor explained that he has asked French President Emmanuel Macron in person to allocate more doses of vaccines for the Alpes-Maritimes department. A request to which the President of the Republic has granted. At the same time Estrosi has also requested that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be used. This vaccine was approved by the European Union on Thursday, March 11th.

Study - According to an updated of results of the ComCor study from the Institut Pasteur, mealtimes play a major role in the transmission of Covid-19, all the more so if they take place in closed places, without ventilation. This observation from the ComCor study conducted by the Institut Pasteur confirms its first results published last December. After this publication, the scientists continued their research extending their study panel to 77,208 participants compared to initially 30,330.

Whether the contamination took place inside the home or outside, scientists at the Institut Pasteur draw the same conclusion: meals play a central role in the transmission. With mealtimes being responsible for 35% of infections within the family, 42% of contaminations between friends and, to a lesser degree, 15% of contaminations in the workplace.

In the light of these new findings, the Institut Pasteur reiterates the importance of "communicating well about the risks associated with encounters, particularly in a closed environment without ventilation, and without respecting barrier gestures. These are probably the main sources of transmission of Covid”.

Paris-Nice - Meanwhile it’s been announced this morning that due to the lockdown in the Alpes Maritimes this weekend the Paris-Nice cycling race, which was planned to take place in Nice, will now on Saturday 13th March, leaving from Le Broc and finishing in La Colmiane and on Sunday 14th March , from the Plan du Var to ending at the Pré de Levens.

Bus network - Buses on the Envibus network are currently severely disrupted following strike action. All lines of the urban network are concerned. There will be no service from 9am to 4.30pm this afternoon. Note that school transport is not affected by today’s strike action. The network will also be disrupted today on lines 10, 22 and 26 between 3pm and 5pm in Valbonne, Roquefort-les-Pins and Biot Village due to the Nice-Paris cycling race. For more information go to

Start ups - According to INSEE, business start-ups in France rose 3.8% in February compared to January. Delivery, accommodation and fast food were the main sectors meanwhile micro-businesses were up 5.1%. Business start-ups jumped last month by 13.5% in transport and warehousing activities, a boom that according to INSEE "reflects in particular the development of home delivery services”. The increase in creations is also strong (+ 9.5%) in the accommodation and catering sector, due to the development of fast food, while cafes and restaurants remain closed due to the health crisis. In 2020, business start-ups in France increased by 4% compared to 2019, reaching a record level of 848,000 registrations.

“LGBTIQ Freedom Zone” - The European Parliament has declared that the whole of the European Union is an "LGBTIQ Freedom Zone". The resolution declares that "LGBTIQ persons everywhere in the EU should enjoy the freedom to live and publicly show their sexual orientation and gender identity without fear of intolerance, discrimination or persecution". The symbolic resolution was passed in response to local authorities in Poland labelling themselves "LGBT ideology-free zones" in recent years.




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