Today, there are 11 new cases in Monaco and a 74-year-old resident had died, the country’s 28th fatality. 25 patients (+2) including 15 residents (+1) are hospitalized with 9 people (-2) including 3 residents (-1) in ICU. 65 people are being followed by the Home Patient Monitoring Center.
IMSEE has released figures for Q4 2020 and with a drop in turnover of €1.18 billion (-7.8%), no sector comes out unscathed. “The numbers are not good,” says Jean Castellini, minister of finance and economy.
The overall volume of foreign trade (excluding France) is down 38% while accommodation/ catering plummeted 48.1%. Wholesale trade showed the largest deficit of €579 million. In December, employment in the private sector was down 2.7% compared to the previous year with 80 million cumulative hours worked versus 94 million in 2019. Hotel occupancy rate was 28.5% compared to 65.9% last year while the real estate market declined both in terms of sales and resales. Registration of new vehicles and use of public car parks were also down.
However, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) sees global GDP growth at 5.6% this year, 1 percentage point higher than its projection in December 2020, and 4% in 2022 while in the euro area, where the level of fiscal stimulus is lower and vaccine rollout slower, the Interim Economic Outlook sees GDP rising 3.9%, a 0.3 percentage point upward revision. The OECD states, “The pace and duration of the recovery will depend on the race between vaccines and emerging variants of the virus.”
Ah yes, the virus. Yesterday, as the French government launched its new slogan, “Dedans avec les miens, dehors en citoyen” (Inside with mine, outside as a citizen), it revealed that 56% of AstraZeneca stock has been administered, along with 60% of Moderna and 90% of Pfizer. A total of 466.9 million doses are expected to be delivered across the year in France (January 2.6m; February 7.2m; March 15.9m; April 27.8m; May 45.6m; June 72.3m; and July-December 295m). Vaccinodomes will soon be opening across the country in order to start mass vaccinations “day and night” and from this weekend, anyone from the age of 70 can get vaccinated.
“I remain positive that we will be out of the crisis in the fall of 2021 thanks to vaccines,” Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the Scientific Council, told the Senate today, adding he believes the situation will remain difficult for "two to three months" before the vaccination takes effect. “We will probably have reached 30 million vaccinated by the end of June.”
Meanwhile, Covid cases in schools are on the rise. Governemnt figures for last Friday show 2,018 classes were closed compared to 833 the week before. 15,484 students tested positive versus 9,221 the previous week with cases doubling in the 0 to age 9 group, which has just started using saliva tests (300,000 tests are expected to be used from next week) and 1809 staff members also tested positive. “What is important is for our students to go to school,” education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said. “Millions of students are out of school around the world, and our school protocol is the most respected in Europe.” Still no word on when teachers will be vaccinated.
An Elabe poll shows 58% of the French surveyed believe that the government should leave nursery schools open and 54% say the same for primary schools. For middle schools, 38% want 50-50 in class/distance learning, 36% say the schools should remain open and 25% feel they should close. For high schools 43% opt for 50-50 in class/distance learning, 31% want to leave them open and 26% say shut them. The government is considering advancing school holidays in Paris—the incidence rate has exploded to 560 per 100,000 for Ile de France and 702 in Seine-Saint-Denis—to begin April 2.
Hospital admissions for under-15s for psychiatric reasons have shot up 80%, according to the Scientific Council, with suicide attempts among children nearly doubling, as well as the use of psychotropic drugs and antidepressants among young people. Psychiatrist Serge Hefez commented, “Adolescents do not express their malaise, they show it. For a troubled adolescent, it is insomnia, it is anger, it is anxiety, it is opposition, it is withdrawing into one’s room is sometimes the act of scarifying oneself.” A free 24/7 hotline has been set up for anyone needing help—0 800 130 000. (45%, of employees working from home say they are in psychological distress and the rate of depression has jumped from 21% to 36%.).
An Elabe poll “L'Opinion en direct” published today shows that 58% of the French believe president Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Jean Castex were wrong not to reconfine the country at the end of January. Regarding the “confinement, who said confinement?” announced last Thursday, 74% of those polled say the measures are not coherent, 73% call them ineffective, and 65% say they are neither fair nor easy to understand.