Lunchtime News Tuesday 7th April 2020


Coronavirus update - Speaking this morning on French television France's Health Minister Olivier Véran has said that "Every day, we are breaking the record never reached of patients hospitalized in intensive care units due to the coronavirus." adding that France "was still in the worsening phase" of the epidemic and was "not yet at the peak of the epidemic". 

As France enters the Fourth week of containment in France. The Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, has asked the prefects, "to examine on a case-by-case basis" the "need to tighten the measures", "where signs of carelessness are emerging".

Anne Hidalgo and the Paris prefecture of police have taken the decision to reinforce confinement and limit the risks of spreading the coronavirus by prohibiting all sporting activities between 10am and 7pm. The measure will take effect on Wednesday.

Joggers will now have to get up earlier or go to bed later if they want to continue exercising during confinement. 

"From April 8, 2020, outings for individual sporting activities will no longer be authorized between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. throughout the territory of Paris. They therefore remain authorized from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m., when the crowds in the streets is the weakest, "read a statement released today. 

Anne Hidalgo and the Paris police prefect, Didier Lallement, took this decision to avoid "any form of laxity" which would "jeopardize the efforts made" until today during confinement.

The pandemic is progressing in Europe. The continent hardest hit by the pandemic hoped on Monday for confirmation of the weekend's glimmer of hope, as the number of deaths had dropped in the two front-line countries, Italy and Spain. But if the trend continued in Spain, the balance sheet started to rise again in Italy, with an additional 636 deaths in 24 hours. France has also announced a significant number of deaths, 833 more, or 8,911 since the beginning of March.

In the UK the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "seriously ill" having been admitted to intensive care. "There is no doubt that the turn of events means that Boris Johnson is seriously ill," said Derek Hill, professor of medical imaging at University College London. With 5,373 deaths, the UK has become one of the hardest hit countries in Europe.

A first "white day" in China. Chinese authorities have not recorded any new daily deaths on Monday for the first time since the statistics of victims of the coronavirus, were published in January. For its Japanese neighbor, the state of emergency must come into effect on Tuesday in seven regions, including Tokyo, a measure accompanied by a plan to help the economy of 915 billion euros.

Finally in France Prostitutes have demanded emergency funds. Defense associations of sex workers, struck by "extreme financial insecurity" for three weeks, asked on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron the creation of an emergency fund.

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin - The CHU of Nice, like other hospitals has been testing the combination of hydroxychloroquine (an anti malaria drug) and azithromycin (an antibiotic) in treating patients with severe forms of Covid-19.

According to Professor Emile Ferrari the head of cardiology department at the hospital they have already had to interrupt the treeatment due to a major risks reported for a patient. While testing the treatment the team of doctors have have implemented a 24/7 monitoring method; allowing any anomalies to show immediately which have in some cases led to the treatment being stopped.  

The Professor goes on to expalin the toxic risk by saying thath "The cells of the heart have a spontaneous electrical activity, which makes it possible to generate the cardiac contraction. This happens a little like an alternating current with a phase of contraction and a phase of recovery. These phases are ordered and successive. However certain conditions can desynchronize these phases. Leading to chaos, and disorder a drop in blood flow possible cardiac arrest".  The Professor goes on to say that  "When hydroxychloroquine is given alone, the cardiac risk is very low. On the other hand, the antibiotic (azithromycin) which is systematically prescribed in combination with hydroxychloroquine in the anti-Covid protocol also favors these abnormalities. He concludes that in his opinion "While it's obvioius that Covid-19 kills, the cure should still not be more harmful than the disease itself". 

Food shopping - Figures published have shown that we are buying more food items during the confinement. In fact, the average basket of shopping in hypermarkets and supermarkets in France jumped 89% last week. For some customers in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), confinement has seen the budget explode: "I bought snacks, things that I didn't buy before confinement", explains one customer. 

And due to the confinement , all meals are made at home. No longer possible to go to a restaurant or eat at work or in the canteen. However, apart from certain fruits and vegetables, prices are rather lower compared to last week. Some brands have committed not to increase their prices until the end of confinement.



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