Lunchtime news update Thursday 30th April 2020

Coronavirus figures for the PACA region - 108 new cases of Covid-19 coronavirus have been reported by the Regional Health Agency in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. The total number of cases for the region to date, stands at 14,622.

The decline in the number of hospitalizations continues in the PACA region with 1,608 people positive for the Covid-19 hospitalized, or 32 people less in 24 hours.

289 patients are in intensive care. The death toll rose to 682, while 3,688 people have returned home since the start of the epidemic.

Mayor of Nice calls for tougher movement controls - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, has written to the French Prime Minister calling for tougher controls for regions in France  which border with other European countries such as the Alpes Maritimes.

Following the Prime Minister’s restrictions at the end of the lockdown limiting people to a 100km radius of free movement. The mayor of Nice says that a “health passport” needs to be put in place showing that all those wishing to cross the border with Italy are in possession of a negative test result for Covid 19 within the last 48 hours.

Professor Didier Raoult says he “is not a prophet” - The controversial Professor Didier Raoult, infectious disease specialist at Marseille hospital has said that he is "not a prophet but a practitioner."

Since the beginning of the epidemic in France, Didier Raoult has not ceased to cause controversy, between shattering statements and clinical trials.

Raoult absolutely defends the use of chloroquine to treat Covid-19, adding that it is a "drug which has existed for 80 years, prescribed to perhaps a third of the population in the world, with 36 million pills sold in France every year.

The Scientific Council however have failed to agree with the professor claiming that his trials do not provide enough evidence and stating serious side effects from the treatment.

Dentists pose naked on social media due to lack of supplies - Dentists in France have launched a campaign on social media to denounce the lack of protective equipment.

# Dentistesàpoil aims to bring attention to the French government the fact that as the lockdown is lifted, dentists will face an influx of patients. Yet they are seriously lacking in supplies of gloves and masks.

Eat more fries - Belgiums are being urged to eat more fries as potato farmers and processors struggle due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Belgium is the world’s largest exporter of chips and other frozen potato products, converting 5.3 million tonnes of potatoes into fries, mash and crisps per year and sending them to customers in more than 160 countries.

Restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus have forced the closure of cafes and restaurants, the industry’s prime customers for fries, and processing firms have seen demand fall by as much as 80%. with Belgian farmers likely to lose 125 million euros of income. 

Many Belgians say the country invented fries but that U.S. troops stationed in the French-speaking part of Belgium during World War One mistakenly called them “French fries”.


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