Lunchtime News Tuesday 23rd March 2021


Lockdown - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi maintains that an early exit from the lockdown, currently in place in the Alpes Maritimes, “is possible” adding that he will be holding talks on the subject with the Prime Minister Jean Castex within the next 48 hours. However, while talks are expected to review figures concerning the health situation in the region Matignon claims “not to have committed to an early end to lockdown” adding that "the lockdowns in sixteen departments of France have just been decided and are intended to remain in place for at least the next four weeks”.

Critical situation in the Ile de France – Meanwhile the Ile de France is facing their highest incidence rates and the intensive care units are saturated. As a result, faced with an influx and immense pressure on hospitals, the director of the Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency, Aurélien Rousseau, has already requested the deprogramming of 40% of unrelated medical interventions. "In the Paris region, the epidemic is spiraling out of control” said the director of the regional health agency before adding that “we must manage to break these curves, to regain control of the pandemic”.

Intensive care units and families refusing transfer of Covid patients - In today's edition of Le Parisien, Jean-François Timsit, pulmonologist and head of the intensive care unit at Bichat hospital, declared: "We are having great difficulty taking new patients. At this rate, we're heading straight for a disaster”. The units he manages are also overloaded: "We can no longer open them; the next step will be to put patients in unoccupied operating theaters. Everywhere, is full!”. As for the transfer of patients Timsit says that "the problem is that there is no possibility of transferring patients to other regions. They are systematically refused by the families” pointing out that “we receive threatening letters, before medical teams even consider it”.

Vaccination - The French government has said it wants to open large centers "to massively vaccinate the French" from April. Speaking this morning the Head of State said he wants a “targeted vaccination campaign for teachers from mid or end of April”. Emmanuel Macron called for vaccination “as much as possible "every day", "morning, noon and evening" adding that the vaccine is "the heart of the battle" against Covid-19.

Macron went on to say that he "wanted things to be organized in a methodical way, by age groups," when the opening of vaccination to those over 70, takes place as of Saturday 27th March. The President of the Republic also announced the introduction of a dedicated telephone number for people over 75 years of age who have not yet managed to get vaccinated.

The French President called on the "collective conscience" of the French and companies “to act responsibly” adding that "the virus is very present on French soil", telling businesses in particular, to “increase teleworking and the reduction of social interactions”.

Scientific Council - Meanwhile the French government's scientific advisory council has warned that, if the measures imposed last weekend on nearly one-third of the national population are not enough to stem the rising tide of Covid-19 infections, then tougher restrictions will have to be considered. Arnaud Fontanet, member of the special scientific council advising President Emmanuel Macron's government said that, "if the government restrictions are strictly respected, they could work" to reduce the Covid infection rate in the worst-hit zones. "But if the rules are not respected, it won't be enough." The specialist went on to say that the current rate of increase of infections is not quite as severe as that observed last spring. Fontanet suggested that in badly affected areas, the closure of colleges and high-schools would have to be considered.

And Finally

Sushi fans - Sushi fans in Taiwan have been changing their name to "Salmon" to benefit from free sushi. Taiwanese registrars faced a huge demand for a name change last week after a chain of restaurants offered free sushi to anyone with the word "guiyu" ("salmon") in their name. In order to receive a free meal, around 150 Taiwanese people started the process to change their name to "Salmon” in order to receive a free meal.

In Taiwan, it is legally possible to change your name three times, for 80 Taiwanese dollars, or around € 2! Some did not hesitate for long to take advantage of the enticing promotion.

But the country's authorities denounced this phenomenon, described as "salmon chaos" by local media saying that "this kind of name change not only wastes time but also leads to unnecessary red tape”.




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