Lunchtime News Wednesday 19th August 2020

Local

High fire risk in the Var - Eight of the nine forest areas in the Var region have today been placed on a high fire risk. Several restrictions have been put in place by the Prefect with access being prohibited.

Covid-19 can be more restrictive than wearing a mask, claims French doctor - As France announces plans to make wearing a mask compulsory in workspaces on or before the 1st September a specialist in infectious diseases Dr Pialoux, has claimed that the idea that wearing a mask “isn’t worth it, is ludicrous”.

 Speaking to French media Pialoux compared the relative “restriction” of wearing a protective mask to the impact of contacting Covid-19 saying that “Being on an artificial ventilator for 26 days, that’s restrictive”.

Riot police deployed near Marseille – Meanwhile French riot police have been deployed near Marseille to help enforce mask requirements

130 police officers were sent to Marseille, after local authorities made face masks mandatory in all farmers' markets and in several neighbourhoods.

Several major cities including Paris, Toulouse, and Lille have introduced such measures in crowded places to stem the spread of the virus as the rising temperatures have been accompanied by an increasing number of cases.

Several violent incidents have been reported over people's refusal to wear masks.

A bus driver died last month in Bayonne, south-west France, after two men attacked him when he reminded them they ought to wear masks and a female nurse was beaten last week in Seine-Saint-Denis, just north of Paris, after she asked two teenagers climbing aboard a bus to wear face coverings.

Father takes legal action – Meanwhile a father of five living in Montpellier has recently challenged an order by the local prefecture that makes wearing a mask obligatory in the city centre.

Marcel Miloudi claims that he does not have the financial means to buy 14 masks every day which is what is needed with at least two masks per person. Legal proceedings against the prefecture were started by Mr Miloudi’s lawyer on Tuesday August 18th.

National

Coronavirus figures - Figures released by the Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS) on Tuesday evening show that cases of coronavirus are still rising in France. In the 24 hours prior to the results being released, 2,238 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded. There are now nearly 400 active clusters in France.

Hospital numbers have remained relatively stable, with 380 patients in intensive care. However, 70% of Covid-19 patients in intensive care are clustered in four regions: Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Hauts-de-France and French Guiana.

French pediatricians suggest children are vaccinated - With less than 15 days to go before the start of the school year, pediatricians in France, concerned about the relaxation of some health measures in schools announced by the French government in July, are of the opinion that children should be vaccinated against the flu and gastroenteritis to avoid symptoms of these winter illnesses being confused with those of Covid-19.

Pediatricians also hope to encourage the authorities to put in place clearer prevention measures in schools in order to avoid closures linked to possible clusters.

Sport

Cycling - Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have been left out of Team Ineos' Tour de France squad. Froome, who is leaving Ineos at the end of the current season,  will instead lead them at the Vuelta a Espana in October, while Thomas will do so at the Giro d'Italia.

 

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