Lunchtime News Friday 16th April 2021

News

Schools set to reopen as planned - Gabriel Attal, the French government spokesman, has this morning announced that the dates for the reopening of schools in France will be maintained. Nursery and primary schools are to reopen on April the 26th with colleges and high schools opening a week later on May 3rd.

Covid -Public Health France has reported than 100,000 deaths from Covid in France with 300 in the last 24 hours. More than 5,900 Covid-19 patients are treated in intensive care units, the highest since spring 2020.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine delays - The American laboratory which was to deliver 55 million doses to the EU in the second quarter announced Tuesday that it would "delay the deployment" of its single-dose vaccine after the report of blood clots which pushed the United States to suspend its use. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is investigating these cases and plans to make an announcement next week.

A little less than 2 million over 75s still not vaccinated in France - Meanwhile "a little less than 2 million" French people over 75 are still not vaccinated, according to France’s Health Insurance. Speaking to French media this morning Thomas Fatome, Director General of Health Insurance made the announcement adding that France’s Health Insurance has been contacting directly those who have the right to be vaccinated, but who still have not made an appointment, to offer them "jump the queue" appointments. 350,000 calls were made for "about 35,000 appointments".

The director was also asked what he thought about reports that some doctors who lend a hand in vaccination centers can receive up to 750 euros per hour by being paid on a fee-for-service basis (therefore able to earn 10,000 euros in a weekend). Thomas Fatome answered that “these figures were not normal” adding that “at the start of the campaign authorities wanted a flexible system between payment within normal rates and payment for carrying out a vaccine, or the “fee-for-service” system.

In other news

Major fire in warehouse outside of Paris - A fire has broken out in Seine-Saint-Denis on the outskirts of the French capital. Firefighters intervened this morning after the blaze broke out at a warehouse in Aubervilliers. As a result of the blaze traffic was disrupted on the A1 and A86 motorway north of Paris and the RER train network was interrupted.

Firefighters have reported no injuries, but the structure, which stores antiques and fabrics among other things, is at risk of collapsing and could cause the flames to spread to nearby warehouses.

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