Lunchtime News Tuesday February 23rd 2021

Hospitals-Hospitals in the Alpes Maritimes have warned that they’re reaching saturation point with new cases of Covid-19 and that the age of patients is falling.

The French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday that 500 new cases of the virus are being registered daily in the department making it the worst affected area in France.

It’s hoped that weekend lockdowns over the next two weekends will discourage people from visiting the Alpes Maritimes and see a reduction in new cases of the virus.

The prefect of the department Bernard Gonzalez ,who’s appointed by the government has warned that he won’t hesitate to implement a full lockdown if the current measures prove to be ineffective.


Estrosi-The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has welcomed the new measures saying that they were “long overdue”.

New cases of the virus in Nice are above 700 per 100,000 residents and are even higher in inner city areas such as l’Ariane and Les Moulins.

In an interview on BFM TV this morning ,Mr Estrosi said that he hoped that the fresh measures would work. He’s appealed to people from outside the city not to visit Nice during the half-term holidays.

The mayor has pledged extra financial aid for shops and businesses that will be forced to close at the weekend.


Lockdown protests- Some local politicians in the Alpes Maritimes have expressed their opposition to the new weekend lockdown measures insisting that there is no evidence that they will work.

Both the mayor of Antibes Jean Leonetti who’s a trained cardiologist and the mayor of Grasse say that their opinions have been “ignored” by the government.

The mayors of Cannes and Villeneuve Loubet have also said that they’re unhappy with the decision taken by the prefect.


Pesticides-For the first time in France ,cases of brain tumours in farmworkers exposed to potentially harmful pesticides have been recognised as “professional illness”.

Evidence from epidemiologists has shown a link between the development of tumours and some pesticides.

In one case , a 69 year old farmer from the Loire Atlantique who’d been exposed to pesticides on a regular basis developed a brain tumour at the age of 69 and died.

His widow said that he had “known the risks” but just “got on with it”.

More and more compensation  cases are now being brought before the courts after the Regional Professional Diseases Committee in Nantes which is made up from three doctors said that there was “conclusive proof” linking the development of brain tumours to certain common pesticides used widely in French agriculture.


Pen gun-Two hospital workers in Nice have been injured after a gun went off by accident while they were treating a patient suffering from bullet wounds at Pasteur Hospital

The 20 year old man was admitted to the hospital at 8.30pm last night. While searching his clothing for identity papers ,a nurse discovered a knife and what she thought was a metal ballpoint pen.

The pen ,which in reality is a small disguised gun went off as she was handling it , causing  wounds to her hands. Another nurse was also injured.

The patient who is unable to talk has been identified with police saying that he has a lengthy criminal record.

Pen guns are widely available in the United States and have been showing up in increasing numbers in France over the past decade. They’re sold in America as items of “self-defence”.

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