Lunchtime news update Thursday 26th March 2020

Coronavirus reports from this morning 

First policeman to die from coronavirus in France - The first  gendarme in France has died at his home in the barracks of Maisons-Alfort (Val-de-Marne) as a result of the coronavirus.

The official, a non-commissioned officer, was 51 years old, a According to reports, he had not been hospitalized or tested for Covid-19, but had been in confinement for a few days for a suspected contamination. His condition deteriorated suddenly, to the point that he did not have time to be hospitalized.

The policeman, married and father of three, was not in contact with the public and the circumstances under which he fell ill are not yet known. The gendarmerie indicated that it would try to identify all the people who had been in contact with  this non-commissioned officer in the barracks.

The barracks of Maisons-Alfort is one of the most important in Ile-de-France.

Police unions threaten to suspend controls

All police unions, all ranks, issued a "solemn warning" to the Minister of the Interior concerning the lack of masks available to officials and threatened to suspend controls.

In a joint press release, the intersyndicale warns that "if the means of protection are lacking in the services, the police will only do the really urgent missions and will no longer carry out containment checks".

The day before, several unions had criticized the decision of the Ministry of the Interior to give the police stocks in FFP2 masks to the nursing staff, without compensating with other types of masks. The police, like the gendarmes, have surgical masks at their disposal, which they consider to be insufficient.

The medical TGV carrying 20 patients has left Strasbourg

The twenty seriously ill patients must be transferred to hospitals in Pays-de-la-Loire, Angers, Le Mans, Nantes, La Roche-sur-Yon.

More than 24 million viewers for Macron in Mulhouse

A total of 24.1 million viewers watched Emmanuel Macron's statements from Mulhouse on Wednesday evening, according to data from Médiamétrie. This address by the president was broadcast live and It recorded an overall audience share of 77.9%, all categories of viewers combined

Nearly 42,000 new cases estimated by GPs last week

These are new data unveiled this morning by Public Health France: beyond the cases confirmed by a test, the health authorities have estimated the number of cases of Covid-19 in France from data from the Sentinelles network, which brings together doctors liberals. It is estimated that 41,836 patients with coronavirus visited a general practitioner last week.

Also according to the epidemiological bulletin of Public Health France, the SOS Doctors associations also reported 9,136 acts for suspicion of Covid-19, which represented almost 15% of their total activity.


A "continuous tsunami" of patients in London hospitals

Public hospitals in London are facing a "continuous tsunami" of serious patients with the new coronavirus while having to compensate for an "unprecedented" proportion of staff suffering, says an official of the British public health system.

After "massively" increasing the capacity for intensive care in recent weeks, hospitals in the British capital are facing an "explosion" in the number of "seriously ill patients", "a kind of continuous tsunami", a said Chris Hopson on BBC Radio 4.


Spain exceeds 4,000 deaths from the coronavirus 

The death toll continues to increase in Spain, which now lists 4,089 coronavirus-related deaths, out of 56,188 confirmed cases. The country is the second most affected in Europe, after Italy.


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