Lunchtime News Thursday 7th May 2020

Coronavirus cases - While the number of new cases of coronavirus had remained stable in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region since May 1st, latest figures show that 334 people have tested positive in 24 hours four days ahead of the planned end to the lockdown.

The number of cases of Covid-19 in the PACA to date stands at 15,542.

A slight drop in hospitalizations is observed in the region with 1,366 patients hospitalized, 29 people less in 24 hours.

195 patients are in intensive care. The number of deaths has increased to 758, while 4,130 people have returned home since the start of the epidemic.

On a national level France has registered 137,150 cases of Covid-19, 939 more cases than the day before.

25,809 deaths are to be deplored. 3,147 people are currently hospitalized in intensive care.

Coronavirus testing - Since last Thursday, only the indicators of circulation of the virus and hospital capacities in intensive care are communicated by the French government. The local system for testing and detecting new cases, should be presented today.

France is now moving towards a third indicator which would be the test positivity rate, which would make it possible to establish the real number of cases detected on the number of people suspected of being affected by the coronavirus. Until now the number of sick people was evaluated via the number of emergency admissions.

On May 1st, France’s Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon set himself the objective of communicating the data for this third indicator this week. However, according to the national coordinator for the deconfinement strategy Jean Castex during his hearing in the Senate on Wednesday, it will only be introduced "gradually from May 11th".

The government promises 700,000 tests per week starting next Monday, but specialists question the reality of this ability. Edouard Philippe must also present at 4 p.m. today the last details of the deconfinement plan in detail, depending on the indicators as well as the health measures.

End of lockdown –Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe is to address the National Assembly today at 4pm to outline the end of the lockdown in France from Monday 11th May.

While many elements linked to the end of the lockdown in France have already been announced detail and clarification on transport, freedom of movement and the rules of quarantine for those arriving in France are still eagerly awaited.

Edouard Philippe will be accompanied by several members of the government including the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and the Minister of Education Jean Michel Blanquer.