Keyword: Coronavirus

Record turnout for protests against France's Covid 'health pass'

Nationwide protests against the introduction as of Monday in France of the requirement to carry a 'health pass' showing that a person has no coronavirus infection, or has had a double Covid jab, when entering public venues or before boarding trains and planes drew around 237,000 people, according to official estimates.

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France introduces mandatory health passes for restaurants and travel

In new measures to to tackle the coronavirus epidemic, the French parliament has approved legislation  that will require people to present a health pass for access to restaurants, bars, trains and planes from the beginning of August, and which also requires frontline healthcare staff to be vaccinated by mid-September.

France advises against travel to Spain, Portugal over virus variant

French junior minister for European affairs Clément Beaune on Thursday advised against travel this summer to Spain and Portugal because of a surge in the two countries of the notably contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, adding it was 'better to remain in France or go to other countries'.  

France extends access to Covid jabs to holiday travellers

Amid a surge of infections of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, France now allows people to receive a second dose of Covid vaccine anywhere in the country in an effort to encourage holidaymakers not to delay the final jab until after the summer vacations.

How Covid-19 caused 'historic' fall in life expectancy in France

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The mortuary at the Bichat hospital in Paris, January 29th 2021. © Joel Saget/AFP The mortuary at the Bichat hospital in Paris, January 29th 2021. © Joel Saget/AFP

While France last week passed the landmark official figure of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, some have questioned the real significance of the disease on the deathrate of the elderly and the physically weak who, they bluntly argue, would have died sooner or later from other causes. Rozenn Le Saint turned to demographers for their insight into a clouded debate.

French Riviera in weekend lockdown to stem coronavirus surge

In face of a surge in cases of coronavirus infections in south-east France, which are well above the national average, parts of the French Riviera, including the city of Nice and the town of Cannes, are to be subject to weekend lockdowns at least over the next fortnight,

Why potentially millions of doses of mRNA Covid vaccines are lost in the vials

Syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are readied for the first phase of vaccinations at a teaching hospital in Strasbourg, north-east France, January 8th. © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons / cc-by-sa-4.0 Syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are readied for the first phase of vaccinations at a teaching hospital in Strasbourg, north-east France, January 8th. © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons / cc-by-sa-4.0

The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines against Covid-19 infection are apparently highly effective, but they are also in too short supply to meet current demand. In France, doctors have found that vials of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna contain more than the indicated number of doses. By collecting the dregs of the bottles, there is the potential of producing millions more doses from existing supplies. But the French health authorities are refusing to authorise the practice. Joseph Confavreux and Caroline Coq-Chodorge report.

Slight drop in new coronavirus cases in France

France's health authorities reported 21,063 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday, down from Wednesday's 25,387 figure and last Thursday's total of 23,448, while the number of recorded deaths from the disease rose to 80,803.

French nun aged 116 suffers no ill effects from coronavirus infection

Sister Andrée, who turns 117 on Thursday and who is believed to be the oldest living person in Europe, was infected with the coronavirus in January but developed no illness and has told French media that she had not been scared by the experience.

Macron warned over delaying new lockdown

A senior French epidemiologist and advisor to the French government on management of the Covid-19 pandemic has warned President Emmanuel Macron against further delaying a third public lockdown as the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first recorded in the UK threatens an 'exponential' rise in Covid-19 cases. 

New anti-Covid measures in France ahead of likely third lockdown

As of Sunday, people arriving in France from EU countries must produce a negative coronavirus PCR test obtained in the previous 72 hours, a measure already imposed on non-EU arrivals, while a growing number of experts advise that the high new rates of Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths registered in the country require a third lockdown on public movement.

French Covid cases hit 3 million, new lockdown envisaged

Confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in France rose by 23,292 on Friday to total 3.01 million, while hospitalisations for Covid-19 also rose to 25,908, the highest in about six weeks, and intensive care patients increased, to 2,912.

France to help students hit by Covid blues and financial hardship

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced moves to help higher education students cope with the social and financial disruption of their lives by lockdowns and curfews amid the coronavirus epidemic, promising the provision of one-euro meals for all and subsidies for psychological counselling in recognition of serious income and mental health problems caused for many isolated students. 

French pharma giant Sanofi struggling in race for Covid vaccine

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Covid-19 vaccines are competing in Europe in a multi-billion euro market. © AFP Covid-19 vaccines are competing in Europe in a multi-billion euro market. © AFP

The so-called “big pharma” groups are engaged in fierce competition to produce efficacious Covid-19 vaccines. While Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have gained widespread approval for their vaccines, that of France’s flagship pharma group Sanofi, developed in partnership with UK drugs firm GSK, is seriously delayed after disappointing clinical tests. Some argue that Sanofi should serve the public interest and turn to producing the approved vaccines of its rivals, supplies of which are disrupted. But, as Rozenn Le Saint reports, the stakes are high and defeat would be costly in more ways than one.

French PM ramps up anti-Covid plan with national 6pm-6am curfew

A 12-hour curfew beginning at 6pm that was recently introduced in regions of eastern France where the return of the coronavirus epidemic took a significant hold has now been extended to all of France, beginning on Saturday and for a renewable two weeks, while visitors to the country from outside the EU face new restrictions including a seven-day isolation period even if they recently tested negative for the virus.