Lunchtime News Thursday 8th October 2020


Covid-19 - French health authorities have reported 18,746 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over 24 hours on Wednesday, a new all-time daily high, and almost double Tuesday's number of 10,489.

The number of people in France who have died from Covid-19 infections was up by 80, at 32,445, and the number of cases now totals 653,509.

French President Emmanuel Macron responded to the record cases saying there would be new restrictions put in place to curb the virus's spread. Macron made the announcement during a television appearance last night following his visit to the Alpes Maritimes earlier on Wednesday. Macron visited three of the villages most badly affected by Storm Alex.

The Head of State began by visiting the village of Tende where he spoke to local officials, rescuers and local residents. He thanked rescuers for their courage and told local residents "the Nation will be with you".

During a press conference in Breil-sur-Roya President Macron revealed that the death toll as a result of the storm in the Alpes Maritimes has now risen to five.

President Macron confirmed that an order had been made recognising the floods as a natural disaster. He said that it would "allow compensation to be triggered". To receive compensation those affected must submit claims to their insurance company within ten days of the order being published in the Official Journal today. In total 55 municipalities will be covered by the order.

Macron said that an emergency fund will be established to which the French state will contribute 100 million euros in the coming days.

Cluster Covid-19 at Marseille hospital - 23 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the hospital of Marseille. The origin of the contamination is not known with certainty.

A source of contamination was detected at the Conception University Hospital with 23 people testing positive for Covid-19 including both caregivers and patients.

The objective of the hospital management is now to "clean the unit as much as possible to put it back into operation as quickly as possible". In the meantime, "all the other patients who did not test positive have been transferred Aix-en-Provence”.

All infected people were placed in isolation. Two of them are currently in intensive care. Visits are now prohibited in the service, as are patients being discharged for at least for two weeks.


Police officers shot at - Two police officers have been left in a critical condition after being shot in the Paris region on Wednesday evening.

Police are actively looking for three people in connection with the shooting. The incident occurred when the attackers stole the weapons from the officers who were at the time in civilian clothing.

Protection for young media stars – The French government has introduced a new law to protect young social media stars.

The legislation aims to regulate the hours under-16s can work online and what happens to their earnings.

It also enshrines the right to be forgotten, meaning that platforms will be obliged to take down content on the child's request.

The popularity of child influencers has grown rapidly in recent years, with a number of young names appearing on the list of YouTube's top earners.

CDC clarifies position on airborne transmission of Covid-19 - The Center for Disease Control (CDC) health agency in the United States has clarified its position on airborne coronavirus transmission days after French MP Martine Wonner claimed in parliament that the agency had taken a position implying that face masks were not an effective way to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Wonner, claimed on Friday that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) health agency in the United States had effectively ruled out airborne spread and the effectiveness of face masks in regard to Covid-19.

Her remarks were relayed on social media among users critical of the French government’s imposing of lockdown, mandatory masks and overall handling of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Report on addictions during lockdown in France - In a report on an inventory of addictions in France during the coronavirus lockdown, published by the French Observatory for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) figures show that a quarter of drinkers reduced their consumption during lockdown while two thirds (65%) declared consumption similar to their pre-lockdown habits with around one in ten users drinking more during the lockdown. Among the reasons were boredom, stress, anxiety or even pleasure.

For tobacco, according to the study, the majority of smokers (55%) maintained a stable level with one in 5 smokers smoking less during lockdown.

In terms of gambling lockdown contributed to the significant growth of online poker with the highest turnover ever recorded in a quarter and nearly 500,000 active players per week on average in the second quarter of 2020 (compared to 264,000 last year).

Finally, the survey shows that more than one in four cannabis users (27%) increased their consumption. A quarter kept it at the same level.


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