Riviera Radio Weekend News Sunday 5th April 2020

Attack - France's head of state, Emmanuel Macron has reacted, to the deadly attack that occurred on Saturday morning in the city center of Romans-sur-Isère, in the Drôme, in the middle of a period of confinement. The President said that "All light would be shed on this heinous act which has plunged our country, which has already suffered in recent weeks, into mourning." 

The national antiterrorism parquet (PNAT) announced on Saturday that they were carrying out the investigation, opened in particular for "assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise".

According to local reports the assailant entered, in the middle of the morning, a tobacconist, where he stabbed three people: a couple who managed the shop, as well as a client. He then abandoned his knife.

Resuming his way in the city center, the man entered a butcher shop. "He went over the counter, took a knife and stabbed another person in the store, a customer," said the owner of the butcher's shop. Once out, the killer wounded a passerby in front of a supermarket, then attacked a man who opened his shutters, still according to the story of France Bleu Drôme Ardèche.

About 15 minutes after the start of the incident, the arrest was made without resistance, near a bakery where passers-by had taken refuge. At the time of his arrest, the man was kneeling on the ground and chanting a prayer in Arabic, according to a police source. The source also said the police seized a knife. Witnesses say they heard the suspect shout "Allah akbar".

The perpetrator attacked at least seven people, two of whom died: the customer who was in the butcher's shop and the man who opened his shutters. Two people were between life and death on Saturday afternoon, one of whom was stabbed in the tobacco shop. Three other injured were hospitalized and the balance sheet is likely to change, says France Bleu Drôme Ardèche.

According to initial elements of the investigation, the suspect is a 33-year-old Sudanese man. 

Coronavirus figures - According to the lastest figures published by the Public Health Agency on Saturday 4th, 7.668 people have tested positive for the COVID 19 in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. 1,655 of these positive cases are hospitalized in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, 418 are in intensive care and since the begining of the epidemic 178 people died.

In Monaco a secound death from the virus was reported on Saturday evening. The patient was a 80 year old, non resident who had been hospitalised at the Princess Grace Hospital.  To date there are 66 cases in the Principality three of which have recovered. There are also a further 108 cases which are able to be monitored from home and do not require hospitalisation. 

On a national level in France there are more than 68,605 confirmed cases and  7,560 deaths since the begining of the epidemic. 6,838 people are currently hospitalized in intensive care.

In Europe, according to data from Public Health France, France ranks second among the countries most contaminated by the coronavirus, behind Spain.

Corsica wants to use hydroxychloroquine - Meanwhile Corsica wants to become a pilot territory to test treatment with hydroxychloroquine. The Chairman of the Executive Council of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. "Asking that the prescription can be done, not only in hospitals, but also in a controlled manner in the private medical environment,"

"One of the essential challenges is to avoid saturation and congestion in hospitals, especially resuscitation services," he said. Corsica only has around fifty resuscitation beds. "It is in our interest to use, within a standardized and secure framework, drugs which the prospect of avoiding worsening of the state of health seems to offer" underlines Gilles Simeoni.

The president of the Executive Council of Corsica recognizes wanting to go faster than the protocol of authorization of the drugs, but he wants to do it "within a framework allowed by the law and the regulations". He mentioned the hopsital in Angers, which is taking part in a trial "which makes it possible to broaden the prescription conditions for chloroquine. This is what we want to do in Corsica".

Saint-Barthélemy - The community of Saint-Barthélemy has met on Saturday, April 4, to consider the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic announcing plans to test the entire population.

The long-term objective: the exit from confinement. The territorial council met this Saturday, April 4, to tackle the subject, but also to release 2 million euros in order to screen the entire population.

To date, according to the latest point from health authorities, Gustavia has 6 people infected since the start of the epidemic, 4 have been cured and two remain confined. 

In the UK - The Queen is to stress the value of self-discipline and resolve during the coronavirus pandemic in a special address to the nation this evening broadcast on TV, radio and social media at 20:00 BST. 

In a rare speech, she will acknowledge the grief, pain and financial difficulties Britons are facing during this "time of disruption".

She will also thank NHS staff and key workers, and emphasise the important role individuals can play.

Confinement measures stepped up over holiday period - Police checks have been stepped up across the region as the Paris region began their easter break on Friday, well at least according to the calendar. Across France the roads have had an increased police presence and in the region there are reports that authorities have asked the electricity board to check if any second residences were occupied. 

Meanwhile, in Monaco police carried out 2,061 controls at the border on Saturday 4th April, 132 people were fined.

Tobacco sales rise - Since the introduction of containment and the restriction of movement in France, tobacconists have noticed an explosion in their sales. Overall, a 30% increase but, in some cities close to the borders, such as Menton, the increase would amount to more than 400%.

The federation of tobacconists figures have increased by 30% for the whole of the French territory, but for the cross-border regions, it could be much more significant.

Another factor that would encourage smokers to consume more: the stress of confinement.

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