France in the face of the Coronavirus - The main measure announced by Emmanuel Macron during his speech on Thursday has been the decision to close all schools, nurseries and universities "until further notice" affecting 12 million students.
Faced with "the most serious health crisis that France has known in a century", Emmanuel Macron ordered the closures as part of the goal to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed 61 people and infected nearly 3,000 in France with 129 of those affected in intensive care, according to the latest report released on Thursday.
More than a million employees in National Education will be affected by the closure. During his speech, Emmanuel Macron did not set a date for the reopening of all schools, which could be done in several stages, depending on the areas.
The decision to close all schools, a measure which only on Thursday morning France’s Minister of education had said “had never been envisaged”, was taken following a day of meetings with health specialists and scientists who highlighted the fact that young people are able to spread the virus even though they may suffer mild symptoms.
Data from the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), the most comprehensive data to date shows that only 0.2% of infected people aged 39 and under die from Covid-19, compared to 14.8% of people over the age of 80.
Emmanuel Macron added that a "childcare service" would be set up "region by region". Its operation should be detailed "in the coming days" and that parents who have to stay at home due to the measure would be receive indemnity.
Macron also called for people over 70 to stay at home, saying "Tonight I ask all people over the age of 70, people with chronic or respiratory illnesses and those with disabilities to stay at home as much as possible,"
He announced the continuation of municipal elections by saying "There is nothing to prevent the French, even the most vulnerable, from going to the polls" he asked "all French people to limit their trips to the bare minimum".
Macron also said that he counted on the nation to
“Reveal its generous soul which, in the past, has allowed France to face the hardest times." To “take care of the most vulnerable and not to visit our seniors, albeit heartbreaking” and for the days, weeks and months to come to respect the instructions given by the authorities." He also declared that "we will not cope with a crisis of such magnitude without standing together. We cannot cope with a crisis of such magnitude without collective discipline."
Emmanuel Macron concluded his speech: "We will all stand together. Long live the Republic and long live France".
Figures to date of the coronavirus in the region - To date in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur 151 cases have been reported of which 39 were declared in the Alpes-Maritimes, 22 in the Var and 2 in Monaco.
The number of cases worldwide has exceeded 131,000, including more than 4,900 deaths in 116 countries and territories.
To answer all your questions, France 3 Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur is offering you an interactive special program today at 10.45 with guests specialized in the health service available to answer your questions which can be submitted through the France 3 regional website.
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters cancelled - The Management of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters has announced the cancellation of the Tournament. Management said in a statement that the decision made due to the coronavirus outbreak was “the only possible option to ensure the protection and well-being of players, spectators and all those working for the event”
The organisers confirm that all tickets purchased will be reimbursed according to a procedure which will be specified later concluding that they “look forward to seeing spectators in April 2021”.
Road accident kills two pedestrians - Two pedestrians have been killed after being hit by a motorist in the Bouches de Rhone. The accident occurred on Thursday afternoon on the main road between Lambesc and Rognes. The man and woman in their eighties died on the spot according to the emergency services. The circumstances of the accident are not yet known.
Elected official attacks schoolgirl - A complaint has been filed by the mother of a schoolgirl against Franck Lo Varco, the local councilor of Berre-les-Alpes who is running in the local elections.
According to reports backed up by video footage the elected official went “crazy and attacked” the teenager in the school bus. The incident occurred at midday on Wednesday as the school bus was transporting pupils from L’Escarène to Berre-les-Alpes. The video was quick to circulate on social networks.
Rue Bonaparte and place du Pin repainted pink, blue and yellow - The road surface of Rue Bonaparte and Place du Pin in the port district of Nice has been repainted Pink, blue and yellow, the colors of the LGBT flag.
The decision was made in close collaboration with businesses and residents in the area and the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, it comes as part of a move to confirm the pedestrian character of the street and strengthen its own identity.
French chef Michel Roux dies - French-born chef Michel Roux has died aged 78. He passed away on Wednesday night after battling a long-standing lung condition.
Roux and his brother Albert made gastronomic history when their London restaurant, Le Gavroche, became the first three Michelin-starred restaurant in Britain in 1982.
Disneyland Paris - Disneyland Paris has decided to close due to the coronavirus.
Disneyland Paris, which welcomes some 15 million visitors a year, made the announcement on Thursday.
The leading private tourist destination in Europe, the site located in Marne-la-Vallée near Paris employs more than 16,000 people, making it the leading "single-site" employer in France.
Governments and central banks around the world are set to announce more emergency measures to tackle the economic impacts of coronavirus as shares in Asia suffered their worst weekly crashes since the global financial crisis of 2008.
The Covid-19 respiratory disease has now infected more than 135,000 people and killed more than 4,900 worldwide with experts warning that because of a lack of testing and unreported cases ,many more people may be affected by the outbreak.
Governments have moved to cancel large sporting events ,close schools and ban public gatherings as the virus spreads with analysts saying that there is now a real sense of fear and panic in markets.
The main problem is uncertainty as to how and when the spread of the virus can be contained.
Economic damage is set to be severe with airlines and travel firms struggling and millions of parents scrambling to find child care if they are unable to take time off from their jobs.
On Thursday ,the US Federal Reserve offered a huge 1.5 trillion dollars in short-term loans in a bid to stimulate the economy and stabilise the financial system while European leaders warned that things will get worse before they get better.
In more positive news ,new cases of the virus in China and some other parts of Asia including South Korea appear to be slowing rapidly with more people recovering from the virus than are becoming infected.
The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned that millions of jobs in the industry are at risk because of the coronavirus crisis.
The WTTC’s chief executive Gloria Guevara says that the outbreak poses a significant threat and that the travel sector could shrink by up to 25 percent this year.
The news comes as thousands of flights are being cancelled and some insurance firms have suspended cover for new customers.
The trade body wants governments to take emergency measures to protect the sector including removing or simplifying visas where possible ,relaxing unnecessary barriers at ports and airports, reducing travellers tax such as air duty and increasing budgets for promoting travel destinations.
And-Oil prices are set for their worst week since 1991 as crude fell for a third straight session this morning amid the growing coronavirus crisis.
Brent Crude was down by 1.4 percent a little earlier at 32 dollars 75 with West Texas Intermediate down 1.7 percent at 30 dollars 96.
The spread of the virus coupled with a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has sent oil markets reeling.Brent is set to fall by 28 percent this week -its biggest weekly decline since January 1991 when it fell by 29 percent at the outbreak of the first Gulf War.
Coronavirus-Sporting events around the world have been decimated by the spread of the coronavirus with dozens of fixtures cancelled at a cost running to several billion dollars.
The Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled after a member of the McLaren team tested positive for the virus in Melbourne and the rest of the teams and drivers forced the hand of the organisers to cancel the event.
The rest of the season has also been thrown into doubt.So far the Monaco Grand Prix in May is still going ahead but organisers say that they’re monitoring the situation carefully and will act appropriately.
The football world has also been seriously affected with no games in Italy or Spain and the future of the Euro 2020 Championship in doubt.
All major sport in the US has been suspended and there are still questions over whether the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo will be able to go ahead.
And all ATP Tennis events have been called off until the 20th of April meaning that the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters will not be staged.
Football-The English Premier League game between Arsenal and Brighton has been called off after the Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.
Arsenal have closed their training ground and club staff who’ve had contact with Arteta are self isolating.
The Premier League will hold a crisis meeting today to discuss future fixtures.
In the English Premier League this weekend(depending on the outcome of the Premier League meeting).
On Saturday Watford play Leicester.Bournemouth host Crystal Palace.Manchester City host Burnley.Newcastle play Sheffield United.Norwich play Southampton and Aston Villa host Chelsea.
On Sunday West Ham play Wolves and Spurs face Manchester United.
Everton play Liverpool on Monday.
Rugby Union-The England prop Joe Marler has been banned for 10 weeks for grabbing the genitals of the Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones during last Saturday’s 6 Nations game at Twickenham.
Centre Manu Tuilagi has picked up a 4 week ban for his red card late on in the game while lock Courtney Lawes escaped punishment after being cited for a dangerous tackle.
Two of the weekend’s 6 Nations games have been cancelled because of coronavirus with France against Ireland and Italy against England off.
The match between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff goes ahead with kick-off at 3.15 French time.
All games in the Guinness Pro 14 have been called off because of the virus outbreak.
Cycling-Niccolo Bonifazio of Italy has won stage 5 of the Paris-Nice race.
The 26 year old won the 226 kilometer stage to La-Cote-Saint-Andrea in a sprint finish.
Max Schachmann of Germany retains the overall race lead with the riders arriving in Nice over the weekend.
Racing-It’s Cheltenham Gold Cup day with Al Boum Photo bidding to become the first horse to defend the Cup since Best Mate.
The 2019 winner gave trainer Willie Mullins his first Gold Cup success after 6 second places.
A crowd of 60,000 is expected to attend despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The big race is off at 4.30 French time.
Mainly cloudy with some bright spells and light variable winds.
Top temperature 16 degrees.
Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.
The weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 15-18 degrees.