French Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced plans to step up the fight against a second wave of Covid, placing new temporary restrictions on Nice, Marseille and several other French cities.
Neighbouring city Nice is preparing for a new round of restrictions starting Monday, as France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran raises the city’s alert level to “heightened” from “general”. The rest of the Alpes-Maritimes remains on general alert, though they will also be subject to new tighter restrictions.
As of Monday, bars in Nice will need to close by 10pm, while sports centres, gyms and multipurpose or party halls are unable to open to the public.
“These are confined spaces where wearing a mask is impossible or at least complex and which are, unfortunately, places of significant contamination,” said Olivier Véran.
These are in addition to restrictions already put in place by Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi last week – 12.30am closing time for restaurants, a ban on the sale of “take-away” alcohol and drinking in public from 8pm, and no amplified music outdoors.
Meanwhile, Marseille’s alert status has been elevated to the penultimate “maximum” as the city sees a run on hospitals with 30% of their resuscitation beds currently being filled by Covid patients. Bars and restaurants will have to shut completely from Saturday, Mr Véran said, adding that the measure would apply for a renewable period of two weeks.
For these two departments, the number of new cases diagnosed last week per 100,000 people is well above the acceptable threshold of 50, with 214 for Bouches-du-Rhône and 136 for the Alpes-Maritimes.
In France on 23rd September, 69 departments were classified as “active virus circulation zones” (ZCA) by the government. Among them are Monaco’s neighbours – Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône and the Var.
France reported a new record for daily coronavirus infections on Thursday, with 16,096 people testing positive for Covid-19 over the last 24 hours. It is classed as a record, even though experts advise that testing during the first coronavirus wave in March-April captured only a fraction of cases.
[caption id="attachment_17578" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/Direction de la Communication[/caption]
Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Director-General for Foreign Affairs Relations and Cooperation, opened a meeting organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the elimination of malaria in the Sahel.
Also present were Dr Magda Robalo, of the Communicable Diseases group in the WHO Regional Office for Africa, and Dr Kesete Admasu, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Secretariat.
In delivering her keynote address last month, Dr Robalo reaffirmed that "WHO will continue to play its role as part of this new partnership platform and commended the Monegasque Government's commitment in the fight against malaria in Africa, including this initiative to provide the Sahel countries with an appropriate framework for discussing the best approaches to making progress on the road to elimination."
The aim of the meeting was to help accelerate efforts in the fight against malaria in seven Sahel countries – Cape Verde, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad – four of which are priority countries for Monaco’s foreign aid programmes: Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.
The meeting, which was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Health of those countries and WHO experts, took place over two days.
The fight against malaria is one of the flagship programmes of the Monegasque Directorate of International Cooperation. The Government of Mauritius has been supporting the WHO malaria programme since 2010.
During her opening remarks, Isabelle Rosabrunetto assured the participants of the "faithful partnership of Monaco, alongside the WHO and the Sahelian countries, to stem the scourge that plagues so many human beings ".
Malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, caused 429,000 deaths worldwide in 2015. Children are the most affected with 303,000 children under five years of age, one child every two minutes, succumbing to the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa pays the heaviest price with 92 percent of these deaths.
WHO aims to reduce the number of new cases of malaria and the deaths caused by malaria by 90 percent by 2030, but currently there are insufficient financial resources. To this end, WHO calls on affected countries and development partners to increase their investments to accelerate progress towards the elimination of malaria.