Lunchtime News Wednesday 24th March 2021


Covid figures for the Alpes Maritimes - Public Health France has reported seven new deaths linked to Covid-19 in hospitals in the Alpes-Maritimes. Since the start of the epidemic, the coronavirus has killed 1,703 people in the department (1,260 in hospitals, 443 in nursing homes).

The number of patients hopsitalised fell slightly on Tuesday with 679 patients. In the intensive care unit, 112 patients were hospitalized with the occupancy rate of intensive care beds still close to saturation at 82.7%.

According to Covidtracker, the incidence rate - which corresponds to the number of people tested positive over seven days for 100,000 inhabitants – stands at 404 and continues to decline. The number has been falling steadily for three weeks after reaching 637 on February 23rd. It is however still far from the regional average of 346.

Var region - Meanwhile in the Var since the start of the pandemic Covid has killed 1,534 people (428 in nursing homes, 1,106 in hospitals). The occupancy rate of intensive care beds remains very high. It was this Monday 22nd March at 91.2%. According to Public Health France, the incidence rate is 320 for the period from March 8th to March 14th.

Head of Medef questions government figures - The head of Medef Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, has this morning said that the French government “pointing the finger at companies is unfair and not reasonable”. Speaking to French media this morning the head of Medef claimed that the Prime Minister declaring that “29% of Covid contaminations occur in companies is not correct”. According to him, after calling the Pasteur Institute to confirm the figure, he was told that of “the 45% of people who were questioned as to where they were contaminated only 15% confirmed that it was at work”.

Under the current health protocol companies in France are obliged to put new health rules in place to curb the epidemic, including a minimum of 8 m² of space for each employee, including in company canteens.

Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux went on to say that "the key to the health crisis is vaccination, and France has fallen behind," he added that it’s a disappointment especially if we compare it to the UK and the situation within the European Union”. He concluded that month after month, this delay between England and Europe widens, and calls into question the functioning of the EU”. 

Minister calls for police officers to be vaccinated along with teachers - The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has spoken in favour of police officers being vaccinated as soon as possible along with teachers. The minister said that officers “should not wait any longer” and should be part of a vaccination campaign planned for the end of April for teachers in France.

Easter cancelled - French Prime Minister Jean Castex, has said that “no exceptions are to be made on Covid restrictions over the Easter period “with family meals and egg hunts being discouraged. However religious services will be maintained. Meetings between people from different households are not recommended as well as the traditional egg hunts which delight the young and the old alike.

Two French ministers hospitalised with Covid - France’s Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot and Minister of Employment Elisabeth Borne, who both tested positive for Covid, have been hospitalized. The condition of 74 year old Bachelot, Culture Minister, is reported to be “stable and does not cause concern”. Meanwhile 59 year old Elisabeth Borne's condition is reported to be “improving”.  

In other news

Landslide - A landslide on the road between Fontan and Tende has led to a road closure in the valley. The landslide on the D6204 occurred this morning and meant that traffic was cut off in both directions towards Tende and trains are also cancelled. A team of specialists were on site in order to reopen the road quickly and securely.

28-year-old launches fundraiser to help 75-year-old delivery man - A resident from Montpellier has launched a fundraiser to help a 75-year-old delivery man. More than 6,000 euros have already been collected from an online kitty to help a retiree forced to deliver meals by bike in Montpellier to meet his needs. Lisa who created the fundraising explains that “having crossed paths with the elderly man working late one night, it reminded her of her grandfather” and she wanted to help. The 75-year-old delivers meals for Deliveroo as extra income to add to his small retirement income and look after his disabled wife.



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