Lunchtime news update Thursday 12th March 2020
Second case of cornoavirus and measures taken in Monaco - Monaco has so far reported two cases of the coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. The latest was reported this morning by the Principality’s health authorities. Previously a 27-year-old British resident was treated who reportedly has since recovered and returned home.
Firstly, as we reported this morning measures have been taken with regards to transport with a ban on cruise ships entering Monegasque territorial waters until the 30th April. A new measure has also been introduced for yachts of 24 metres and over being required to send medical reports for their crew and passengers 48 hours ahead of docking in the Principality.
Schools in the Principality remain open to date however any school outings have been postponed for the time being as a precaution.
Several measures are to be introduced to help support businesses in Monaco who may be affected and as of today the Welcome Office is able to provide information through its helpline 98 98 98 99 and email covid19entreprises @ gouv.mc.
With regards to workers coming into Monaco from Italy the matter was covered during a press conference held on Wednesday in which Monaco’s Minister of State Serge Telle expressed that the Principality wishes to continue to welcome employees domiciled in Italy to the Principality, despite the quarantine imposed in their country of residence. A quarantine which does not restrict professional travel.
The Minister added that "There is no reason for restriction. As no cases of the virus have been reported in Ventimiglia, the closest being in Genoa and Savona.
Two shot dead in Marseille - Two young people aged 20 and 21 have been shot dead in Marseille. The shooting occurred in the early hours of this morning in a building located on the traverse du Moulin de la Villette.
La Provence report that one of the bodies was found in an elevator. The gunman was said to have first fired towards them through the glass of the building door, before entering it and hitting his two targets in the head, who were apparently trying to escape.
Police discovered drugs and the scene and one of the victims was also known to have been involved in drug trafficking.
Closure of the region council - Following the news of several new cases of the coronavirus. The regions President has announced the closure of all buildings of the regional council on Thursday and Friday .
Renaud Muselier decided to send agents home and to close the buildings of the general council
Adding that agents identified as having had prolonged and close contact with the last two positive cases, will be invited individually and anonymously to be screened.
Weather warning - Météo France has this morning placed six departments in the north and west of the country on and orange flood alert.
Météo France describes an "episode of strong waves in the English Channel, especially in the west of the Pas-de-Calais".
On Thursday morning, the weather was characterized by a "fairly strong southwest winds over Brittany and across the Channel", according to the forecaster. "
The warning is in place until 6am on Friday 13th March.
Football fans gather outside of stadium - Paris Saint-Germain fans have amassed outside the club's stadium to cheer on the players before the Champions League last-16 game against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
The match at Parc des Princes was played in an empty stadium because of the coronavirus outbreak. Many sports and other events around the world have been affected by the virus, leading to sporting events being held without any fans.
Despite not being allowed inside, around 3,000 PSG fans gathered to show their support outside the Parc des Princes who went on to win the match 2-0.
Coronavirus update - France’s labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud has confirmed on French television this morning that "Yes, the current health crisis is also becoming an economic crisis, which is already having major effects." Adding that the "priority" of the French government was to protect "businesses, jobs and workers."
Towards a return to normal in China. In recent days, the number of new cases has been decreasing in China, which suggests that the epidemic peak has been exceeded in the country, as Beijing reported on Thursday, March 12th. As the epicenter of industrial production, China risks still facing economic difficulties - with global repercussions - despite the gradual resumption of local work.
Europeans banned from the United States. Donald Trump announced on Wednesday March 11th, in a speech to the nation, that he would prohibit nationals of European countries - except the United Kingdom and Ireland - from going to the United States for a duration of 30 days, from Friday evening. This restriction does not apply to United States nationals. After confusion by suggesting that "trade and freight" from Europe would also be banned, Donald Trump said moments later that "trade will in no way be affected".
Global pandemic. The secretary general of the UN, Antonio Guterres, called, Wednesday, March 11th, all countries to "redouble their efforts immediately" to fight against the pandemic of coronavirus Covid-19. "It is also an appeal to responsibility and to solidarity”.
For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday called the Covid-19 epidemic, which has infected more than 125,000 people worldwide since late December, "a pandemic".
Fifteen new dead on French soil. France has registered fifteen new deaths due to the coronavirus, bringing the total toll to 48 deaths out of 2,281 confirmed cases since the end of January, announced Wednesday evening the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran. Nearly 500 new cases were registered compared to the previous assessment, he said. In total, Wednesday evening, 105 people were in intensive care.
Baccalaureate reform - The Minister of France’s National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, announced this morning new adjustments for the next continuous testing of the new baccalaureate for first year students, including an extended calendar to ensure students "sufficient learning time".
Since the launch of the reformed baccalaureate in January, the common continuous assessment (E3C) tests have been disrupted in several dozen establishments, notably in Paris.
In addition, some high schools which had already postponed the tests failed to pass them on a second attempt.
Jean-Michel Blanquer announced that "the bank of subjects will be public". Each pupil will thus be able to "prepare a little”.
According to a text from the Minister, "the tests of the second session may take place, at the choice of the establishments, from April 20th, as initially announced and until June (against the end of May)". Enough to ensure students "sufficient learning time between the two series of tests, while guaranteeing them access to their copies and their notes before mid-July. Adding that “this will give schools more flexibility in the organization of these tests”.
Greta Thunberg calls for “digital strike” - Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, instigator of "school climate strikes", has called to switch to a "digital strike" over the spread of the new coronavirus.
During pandemic period, gatherings are strongly discouraged. But mobilization is still possible online. The Swedish activist thus pleaded for a "digital strike" on social networks, seeing it as a new way of raising public awareness of the climate cause while avoiding any physical gathering.
To take part people are invited to join the #DigitalStrike for upcoming Fridays- post a photo of you striking with a sign and use the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline! #Fridaysforfuture #climatestrike # schoolstrike4climate 4/4
Meanwhile, the Swedish government announced on Wednesday that it would ban gatherings of more than 500 - the country currently has more than 450 cases and one death - following recommendations from the National Public Health Agency.