Lunchtime News Friday 20th November 2020

News

Covid-19 clusters in the Var - The Regional Health Agency has indicated that a third of the 146 clusters identified in the Var region are due to contaminations in the workplace.

To date “44 professional clusters” are active and an additional 75 clusters are in the medical and social structures such as nursing homes.

Professor Didier Raoult - Professor Didier Raoult has filed a complaint against the vice-president of the Order of Physicians. The Marseille infectious disease specialist lodged the complaint with the Bouches-du-Rhône Order of Physicians. Raoult accuses Dr. Guillaume Gorincour of "non-confraternity"

After being targeted by a complaint lodged with the Ordre des médecins des Bouches-du-Rhône by the French-language Infectious Pathology Society (Spilf), Raoult in turn has lodged a complaint against the vice-president.

The Order had accused the professor of several ethical breaches, in particular of failing in his duty of fellowship and of using non-validated treatments in the fight against Covid-19, in this case hydroxychloroquine. Professor Raoult has been conducting clinical trials for several months with his team in Marseille on hydroxychloroquine, an inexpensive and commonly used treatment for malaria, and claims that it is effective against the coronavirus.

But many scientists and the World Health Organization have criticized Professor Raoult's studies, believing that they had not been conducted according to standard scientific protocols.

Protest planned by the catering and hotel industry - Catering and hotel professionals from south-eastern France have announced that they plan to meet in Marseille to demonstrate against the current Covid-19 restrictions on November 26th.

After a meeting, on Thursday, November 19, in Montpellier, the "confined professionals" have decided to take action dubbing the demonstration “Black Thursday”.

Meanwhile a meeting of representatives of retailers and the Minister of the Economy is scheduled for 3 p.m today.

Cautious optimism from Public Health France - Public Health France has this morning said that it would appear that "the epidemic peak of the second wave of Covid-19 has been crossed" in France.  While the number of cases “remain high” the agency says that numbers are falling.

The president of the Scientific Council displays the same cautious optimism in an interview with Le Monde saying that  "a series of elements suggest that we are at the peak, or not far in any case, in certain regions" Jean-François Delfraissy predicts that the target of going down to 5,000 new cases per day, set by French President Emmanuel Macron, will be reached "rather after Christmas, or even early January".

Train travel at Christmas - Meanwhile the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, has not yet confirmed if it will be possible to take travel by train during the Christmas holidays. The minister warned on French radio this morning that he “cannot guarantee if train travel will be possible for leisure reasons" inviting all the same the French to take their tickets, which will be refundable free of charge.

France’s accents - French MPs have debated the introduction of a law aimed at making the mockery of a regional accent punishable by law. The bill aims to "promote the accents of France” and was proposed and defended in the French parliament on Wednesday, by MP Christophe Euzet.

The text is set to fight glottophobia, that is to say any form of discrimination based on language or accent. The text calls for the notion of accent to enter the law, and be added to the list of already existing discrimination criteria.

An IFOP study in January 2020 shows that one in two French people believe they speak with an accent, and 11 million French people believe they have been discriminated against because of their accent.

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