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Covid-19: 800 new cases in France and 79 dead in total

Travel to be limited to the maximum, nurseries, schools and universities closed from Monday: the fight against the new coronavirus is taking a turn after the call launched by Emmanuel Macron to “unite” to curb the epidemic that is starting to put France in slow motion. Faced with “the most serious health crisis in a century”, Emmanuel Macron posed as a unifier of the Nation to make the French accept drastic measures against the coronavirus. He appealed to everyone's “responsibility” by asking everyone to limit travel to “what is strictly necessary”, and those over the age of 70 and the most vulnerable to stay at home.

“United France is our best asset in the troubled period we are going through,” said the head of state on Thursday during a 25-minute long statement from his Elysée office. He called on the French to “unite” to counter this epidemic, “which affects all continents and strikes all European countries”, “the most serious health crisis that France has experienced in a century”. Emmanuel Macron ordered the closure, from Monday and “until further notice”, nurseries, schools and universities to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed 61 people and infected nearly 3,000. For millions of students, Friday is the last day in class before a break that could last for weeks.

Follow the evolution of the crisis live on Friday March 13.

Assessment – 800 new cases in France and 79 deaths in total

Nearly 800 new cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus have been detected in France and the epidemic has so far killed 79 in the country, announced Friday the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.

Eighteen additional deaths have been recorded since Thursday evening, and 154 patients are “still in serious condition,” the minister said. In total, the number of patients infected in France since the end of January amounted to 3,661, against 2,876 Thursday evening.

Poland and Denmark close their borders

Following other European countries, Poland and Denmark close their borders to foreigners.

6:40 p.m. – Nearly 10 billion shortfall in French tourism

The coronavirus epidemic could cause France to lose up to 10 billion euros in tourism revenue over the first four months of the year, Secretary of State at the Quai d'Orsay, Jean said on France Inter -Baptist Lemoyne.

“According to our calculations, the shortfall will amount to around 10 billion euros for the first four months of the year,” said Mr. Lemoyne.

It is based on a simulation of the government's economic impact, which gives a range of between 6.4 and 10.1 billion euros in lost tourism revenue from January to the end of April.

In 2019, spending in France of foreign visitors reached 57.9 billion euros, and that of “domestic consumption” – that of French tourists who opted for a stay in France – is estimated at some 110 billion.

Mr. Lemoyne promises “a massive aid plan to preserve jobs, businesses and cash” in the tourism sector.

The Chinese and the Americans are the most spending tourists in France: the former have not come since the explosion of the epidemic in their country; as for the latter, they were urged on Thursday by the US State Department to avoid any trip abroad.

6.30 pm – WHO declares Europe “new epicenter” of the pandemic

Europe has come to be the first center of the coronavirus. Italy, the most affected country in the world after China, also saw the number of infected people jump on its territory: it went from 15,113 to 17,660, including 1,328 in intensive care. Countries have declared a state of alert. Other European countries have tightly restricted access to their territory.

5 p.m. – Macron wants to control or close the Schengen borders with certain areas

Emmanuel Macron proposed to the European Union to examine the implementation in the coming days of reinforced border control measures around the Schengen area or even closure for risk areas, said the French presidency.

During a telephone interview with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Head of State proposed to further control the borders of and towards Schengen or even to prohibit access for certain countries at risk, very infected or about to be infected, said the presidency.

Emmanuel Macron wants to “avoid uncoordinated measures” like those of countries that have decided to close or control their borders with several European countries, in violation of European rules, said the Elysee.

Several European countries have in recent days taken measures to restrict travelers from European countries, such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic who have announced the almost total closure of their borders to foreigners, Austria and Hungary which have restricted entries to Italy, or Slovenia which has introduced border health controls.

Ursula von der Leyen warned on Friday the border closings decided by some EU countries and advocated health control measures “at the external (EU) or internal borders”.

EU recommendations on the matter are to be presented to the 27 interior ministers who met in Brussels on Friday.

In an interview with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Emmanuel Macron also “sent a message of solidarity and respect for the measures taken by Italy”.

France has also decided to place joint orders with Italy and several other EU countries for respiratory aid equipment, within a few weeks.

The French President finally welcomed the announcements by the President of the Commission on Friday “the flexibility of all European rules in the area of ​​state aid, budgets, loans, banking and financial regulation”.

Emmanuel Macron's proposal on borders was immediately criticized by the president of the National Rally Marine Le Pen. “This proposal, beyond being too late, is inept when all the European countries have already restored their national borders. The globalist ideology is very bad adviser,” she tweeted.

5:24 pm – “Impossible” to say when the peak of the pandemic will take place, according to the WHO

“Impossible” to say when the peak of the pandemic will take place, says WHO.

4:20 p.m. – Trump will declare a national emergency

Donald Trump to declare national emergency in the United States to respond to the coronavirus epidemic, which will provide additional federal assistance to affected states and localities, sources have learned. aware of this decision.

Donald Trump will announce the decision at a press conference at 3 p.m. (7 p.m. GMT).

The President will use the Stafford Act, passed in 1988, which authorizes the Federal Relief Management Agency (FEMA) to provide funds to state and county governments and to deploy rescue teams. This law was only used once, by President Bill Clinton in 2000 in the face of the West Nile virus epidemic.

4:12 pm – Curtain for culture

It was already a dark season for theaters, operas and concert halls with strikes. But the nightmare is there with the coronavirus epidemic and the performing arts fear for its survival. The new ban on gatherings of more than 100 people is a real blow for a sector with an already very fragile economy, which could accumulate losses of the order of several hundred million euros. Small structures are likely to file for bankruptcy and unemployment threatens the intermittent of the spectacle. Like those, for example, who had to work at the Printemps de Bourges, one of the most important music festivals in France (200,000 festival-goers last year) which was canceled on Friday.

Scalded by a historic strike by its staff against the pension reform which cost him 16.4 million euros, the Paris Opera foresees seven million additional ticketing losses with the cancellation of at least 34 performances in Bastille and Garnier by April 24.

Friday, the three-hundred-year-old institution decided to cancel until March 31 all of its ballet and opera rehearsals, as well as the shows in its smallest halls, the amphitheater and the Bastille studio.

Across France, cancellations of shows and festivals, such as that of Banlieues Bleues, have accelerated in recent days and cinemas were forced to close their doors on Friday like the Comédie-Française (until March 18 “in a premier temps “), the Théâtre de Chaillot (April 22), the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (April 19) or the Philharmonie de Paris (April 7).

4 p.m. – Borders are locked all over the world

Austria closes businesses, suspends flights with France, Spain and Switzerland. Morocco loops its links to Spain and France, Algeria reduces its flights. And Pakistan announces that it is closing its borders with Iran and Afghanistan.

3:24 p.m. – Banque de France wants to ease capital requirements for banks

The Banque de France will propose to the government that banks can draw on certain capital reserves to support the economy in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, the governor of the institution François Villeroy de Galhau said on Friday.

At the next meeting of the High Council for Financial Stability, on March 18, “I will propose loosening the counter-cyclical cushion, in order to promote loans to households and businesses, it's time to do so” , said the central banker on Radio Classique.

2:26 p.m. – British Airways warns it will cut jobs

British airline British Airways will have to cut jobs due to the fall in activity linked to the coronavirus epidemic, warned its boss Alex Cruz on Friday.

“We cannot maintain our workforce at their current level,” he warned in a memo sent to staff, the content of which was confirmed to AFP by a spokesperson. “We stop serving destinations and we will keep planes on the ground like never before,” he said.

“Please don't underestimate the seriousness of this for our group,” added Mr. Cruz.

The coronavirus health crisis has hit airline companies hard, as they face a drop in the number of tourist and business trips around the world.

13h57 – Dussopt receives the public service unions on Monday

The secretary of state responsible for the public service Olivier Dussopt will receive unions and employers in the sector on Monday morning, his cabinet told AFP on Friday, while maintaining the waiting day in the event of sick leave linked to the crisis of coronavirus for public servants is under debate.

In a letter addressed to the secretary general of FO Civil Service Christian Grolier on March 11, that is to say before Emmanuel Macron's speech, the secretary of state confirms that public officials will be given a day of waiting in case of a stop coronavirus disease.

“Public officials on sick leave after contracting the coronavirus do not benefit from the maintenance of their remuneration until the second day of sick leave,” said this letter, which was widely published on Twitter, which gave rise to numerous indignant comments from officials.

1:34 p.m. – Possible to organize the 2nd tour “in good conditions”

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Friday that he had “the conviction” that it is possible to “organize in good conditions” the first round on Sunday but also the second round of the municipal elections on March 22.

“If we have made this decision (to organize the municipal elections), it is by listening to the scientists and we are convinced that we can organize the first and second round in good conditions,” he said. , guest of the TF1 television news, stressing that “proxies is still possible” for the second round.

1:29 p.m. – 37 billion euros released by the European Union

The European Union will set up a 37 billion euro fund as part of measures to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economies of member countries, European Commission President Ursula said Friday von der Leyen.

She added that the EU authorities would be flexible in applying EU rules on budget deficits and state aid.

The EU will guarantee eight billion euros in loans for 100,000 European companies, she said.

“I am convinced that the European Union can absorb this shock,” said Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference. “But each member state must fully assume its responsibilities and the European Union as a whole must be determined, coordinated and united.”

1:07 p.m. – Meetings of more than 100 people prohibited

Edouard Philippe announced Friday that the government lowered the size limit for gatherings in France to 100 people, instead of 1,000 previously, to “slow down” the progression of the coronavirus. “We are going to pass this limit to gatherings of 100 people. The idea is to ensure that we can slow the progression, the circulation of the virus” and this ban will apply throughout the national territory and from now on, explained the Prime Minister on TF1.

“100 people obviously means significant consequences for theaters and cinemas,” said the head of government. Asked about marriages, he replied: “Our objective is to protect the health of the French no matter what, but that it is also to preserve the continuity of the life of the nation”.

Sunday, the government had announced by the voice of the Minister of Health Olivier Véran the prohibition of all gatherings of more than 1,000 people, and this until April 15, in the open air as in an enclosed environment.

11.59 am – The death toll is increasing in Iran, the new virus is developing in Africa

85 new deaths announced in Iran where the death toll rises to 514 dead. As for West Africa, the first case of a new coronavirus has been diagnosed in Kenya, which concerns a Kenyan student who returned from the United States via London, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe announced Friday.

“I want to inform you that the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Kenya,” said Kagwe at a press conference.

11:48 am – Volkswagen sees sales collapse by 74% in China

German automaker Volkswagen reported a 74% drop in car deliveries to China in February over a year ago, a result of the country's near-total economic downturn. coronavirus epidemic.

This sharp drop in the Chinese market, its largest in the world, led to a drop of almost 25% in the company's overall sales, going from 724,400 units in February 2019 to 546,300 in February 2020.

11:43 am – China injects 70 billion euros to support its economy

The Chinese central bank announced Friday a drop in the reserve ratio of banks, freeing up 550 billion yuan (70.6 billion euros) to support the economy.

This ratio, which obliges the banks to preserve liquidities near the central bank, will be lowered in a proportion of a half point to a percentage point as from Monday, specified in a press release the institute of emission, at a time when China is facing a strong economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

By reducing the funds they are forced to keep with it, the central bank allows commercial banks to lend more to businesses to support the real economy.

The last decline dates back to January 6. Beijing had then reduced the reserve requirement rate by half a point, injecting around 100 billion euros into the economy.

11.41 a.m. – Edouard Philippe in Beauvau then at 1 p.m. on TF1 of TF1

Edouard Philippe went to the Ministry of the Interior on Friday morning to take stock of the municipal elections, before being the guest of the 1:00 pm TV news from TF1, the day after Emmanuel Macron's TV address in full coronavirus crisis.

“Following the address by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron and the measures announced to fight against the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will respond, directly, to questions from Jean-Pierre Pernaut”, said the chain in a statement.

Before that, the Prime Minister went at the end of the morning to Place Beauvau to take stock with Minister Christophe Castaner, Secretary of State Laurent Nuñez and Minister of Health Olivier Véran, in particular on the organization of municipal elections, whose first round takes place on Sunday.

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10.58 am – FFP2 masks will be sent to private doctors

Masks with a high level of protection, called FFP2, will be sent to doctors who are not practicing in hospital to cope with the intensification of the epidemic caused by the coronavirus, said the Minister of Health on Friday, Olivier Véran.

“I informed yesterday (Thursday) evening all the union leaders of the liberal doctors as well as the president of the National Council of the Order of doctors that they would have FFP2 masks which will be given to them”, declared Mr. Véran on Europe 1.

“It is immediate, the logistics start first in the direction of the sites where the circulation of the virus is most active and (where) we start to use city medicine as the first curtain,” he added. .

This will be done “very gradually” on “national territory”, he protected.

“It is only a matter of logistics, it is important to protect those who protect us,” he said.

10.54 am – Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football suspended

The French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football championships are suspended immediately and until further notice due to the coronavirus, the Professional Football League (LFP) announced on Friday.

“Following the announcements by the President of the Republic in order to respond to the health crisis linked to Covid-19, the LFP board of directors unanimously decided this Friday March 13 to immediately suspend the Ligue 1 championships (. ..) and (…) Ligue 2 until further notice, “wrote the LFP in a press release.

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10:47 am – The new coronavirus has killed at least 4,958 people worldwide

The new coronavirus has killed at least 4,958 people worldwide since its appearance in December, according to a report compiled by AFP from official sources Friday at 9:00 GMT.

More than 133,970 cases of infection have been recorded in 120 countries and territories since the start of the epidemic. This number of diagnosed cases, however, reflects reality only imperfectly, as countries have more or less restrictive accounting policies and criteria.

Since the count made the previous day at 5:00 p.m. GMT, 35 new deaths and 2,513 new cases have been recorded worldwide.

China (excluding the territories of Hong Kong and Macao), where the pandemic broke out at the end of December, counted a total of 80,813 cases, including 3,176 deaths and 64,111 cures. Twenty new cases and seven new deaths were announced between Thursday and Friday.

Elsewhere in the world, there were Friday at 9:00 GMT a total of 1,782 deaths (28 new) for 53,163 cases (2,493 new).

The most affected countries after China are Italy with 1,016 deaths for 15,113 cases, Iran with 429 deaths (10,075 cases), Spain with 84 deaths (3,004 cases) and South Korea with 67 deaths (7,979 case).

Since Thursday at 5:00 p.m. GMT, India and Norway have announced the first virus-related deaths on their soil. Ghana, Kenya and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have announced the diagnosis of the first cases.

This assessment was carried out using data collected by AFP offices from the competent national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO).

9:56 am – 100% of partial unemployment paid for by the State (Pénicaud)

The state will “fully” cover the partial unemployment demanded by companies penalized by the spread of the new coronavirus, said Minister of Labor Muriel Pénicaud on Friday.

“Companies hesitated by saying that they did not have the means to take charge (…), there we will fully reimburse 100% of partial unemployment”, including beyond the minimum wage, said the minister on Franceinfo TV. “We will take it into account in the budget of the ministry of labor.”

An “exceptional and massive mechanism of partial unemployment will be implemented”, Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday evening during his statement against the epidemic.

“Whatever the cost, we will face it” she added, announcing that on Thursday evening, 5,117 companies had asked to benefit from partial unemployment for a total of 80,000 employees and a cost of 242 million euros.

9:25 am – Medef ready to suspend debate on pensions

Medef president Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux said he was ready Friday to suspend discussions on pension reform during the coronavirus health crisis. “We can ask ourselves the question of suspending the debates for a few weeks, because indeed, everyone must be behind this kind of sacred union” in the fight against Covid-19, said Mr. Roux of Bézieux at the microphone of Europe 1.

“We can leave aside, the angry subjects, for a few weeks,” said the president of Medef, whose organization participates alongside four unions still around the table, and other employers' organizations, the pension funding conference.

9:24 am – Nearly 22 million viewers for Macron announcements

The speech of President Emmanuel Macron in the middle of the coronavirus crisis was followed Thursday evening by nearly 22 million viewers on historic channels, a very high score for an official statement, according to data from Médiamétrie released on Friday.

This long 25-minute speech, in which the president announced the measures to fight the virus, was followed by 8.7 million people on TF1, giving the channel a audience share (pda) of 30.7 %; 7.5 million people on France 2 (26.5% pda), 3 million on M6 (11% pda) and 2.7 million people on France 3 (9.5%).

These data do not integrate the news channels, whose scores will be known at the end of the morning.

8:44 am – French economic measures will cost “tens of billions of euros”

All the measures taken by the French government to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus and limit its economic impact in the country will cost the state tens of billions of euros, the Minister of Economy and Finances Bruno Le Maire.

“We will do all that is necessary and more than what is necessary to support our economy and our businesses”, he assured on BFMTV and RMC by specifying that “it will cost the state tens of billions of euros “.

He added that, in a context of market turbulence, the state would also support all the companies in which it has a stake.

8:31 am – Schools closed for “at least 15 days”

The closure of schools announced throughout the country from Monday will be “as short as possible” but “minimum 15 days”, said the Minister of Health on Europe on Friday. “The duration is unknown to me and, if I could give it, I would give it (…) imagine that it will be as short as possible, “said Olivier Véran, stressing that it was a” heartbreak to have to get there “.

“In the areas where the virus is activated (Oise, Haut-Rhin), we have adopted closing periods of 15 days. As part of a national closure of all schools, what we want is is a massive national brake, “he said. The schools will therefore close “the time necessary for this massive brake to be fully operational and to protect our hospitals. At least 15 days”.

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8:01 am – Edouard Philippe at 1:00 pm news from TF1

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will be the guest of TF1’s 1:00 pm television news on Friday, the channel said in a press release, the day after Emmanuel Macron’s television address in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. “Following the address by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron and the measures announced to fight against the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will respond, directly, to questions from Jean-Pierre Pernaut,” said TF1. .

The interview will also be available on LCI-Canal 26 and on LCI.fr. Faced with “the most serious health crisis in a century”, Emmanuel Macron put on Thursday evening in his speech the clothes of “father of the Nation” to make the French accept drastic measures against the coronavirus.

He ordered the closure, from Monday and “until further notice”, nurseries, schools and universities to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed 61 people and contaminated nearly 3,000. Three days before the first round of municipal elections, the head of state also confirmed that the ballot would take place.

7:52 am – “At this stage, the bin is maintained”

The closure of French schools announced on Thursday by Emmanuel Macron due to the coronavirus will be in effect at least until the spring break, said Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer on Friday.

Asked about France Inter on the duration of this measure, Jean-Michel Blanquer explained that it was “necessarily weeks and not days, which can become months of course”.

“What is quite certain is that we are going to go at least until the spring holidays, which start at the beginning of April” for the first zone concerned, he added.

The President of the Republic announced Thursday the closure from Monday of schools and universities in France in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country “until further notice”.

7:50 am – The ECB remains mobilized in support

The European Central Bank (ECB) has taken appropriate measures to support the European economy in the face of the economic fallout from the coronavirus epidemic, which is weighing on activity and threatening several countries of recession, said François Villeroy de Galhau on Friday, member of the Governing Council of the ECB.

The package of measures decided on Thursday by the ECB is “consistent with (the economic situation) and powerful in the service of businesses,” said François Villeroy de Galhau, also governor of the Banque de France (BdF), on Radio Classique.

He also assured that the ECB would remain mobilized in the coming days.

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7:26 am – Disney closes its parks in the United States and France

Walt Disney announced Thursday the closure of its amusement parks in France, Florida and California, taking note of the measures taken by the public authorities to slow the spread of the epidemic of coronavirus. “We are starting to close our Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, the closure will be effective Sunday March 15 and will last until the end of the month,” the group said in a statement.

Disney previously announced the closure of its California parks. The hotels on the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris sites will remain open until further notice.

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5:36 am – Only 8 new cases in China

China reported on Friday only eight new coronavirus infections, the lowest figure since the start of epidemic statistics in mid-January. Among these additional cases, five were recorded in the city of Wuhan (center), the epicenter of Covid-19 where the virus appeared at the end of 2019. The other three contaminations identified (two in Shanghai and one in Beijing) are by people from abroad. Leur nationalité n'a pas été précisée.

La Chine compte ainsi désormais un total de 88 cas “importés” d'autres pays: un nouveau défi pour les autorités sanitaires, qui avaient réussi à endiguer la propagation du Covid-19 sur le sol national. Le ministère de la Santé a également annoncé vendredi sept morts supplémentaires, portant le total à 3.176 en Chine continentale (hors Hong Kong et Macao). Plus de 80.000 personnes ont été contaminées dans le pays.

Avec la très sensible amélioration constatée ces dernières semaines, les autorités ont commencé à assouplir les restrictions visant les 56 millions d'habitants de la province du Hubei — dont Wuhan est le chef-lieu.

La plupart des villes y étaient bouclées depuis fin janvier. Mais la plupart des personnes saines dans les zones faiblement touchées peuvent désormais voyager à l'intérieur des frontières provinciales.

Les habitants de Wuhan ne sont pour l'instant pas concernés par ces mesures. Mais de nombreuses entreprises de la ville sont autorisées depuis cette semaine à reprendre leurs activités.

4h36 – Justin Trudeau placé en isolement

Le Premier ministre canadien Justin Trudeau va être placé en isolement pendant 14 jours après que son épouse a été testée positive au nouveau coronavirus jeudi.

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau a récemment voyagé à Londres et ressenti des symptômes grippaux, c'est pourquoi elle a été testée au nouveau coronavirus, avait indiqué plus tôt le cabinet du Premier ministre. Le test s'est avéré positif, a-t-il précisé plus tard.

0h07 – Réunion de crise à la mairie de Paris vendredi

La maire de Paris Anne Hidalgo a annoncé jeudi soir organiser vendredi une réunion de crise face au coronavirus pour “tirer toutes les conséquences” des décisions annoncées par Emmanuel Macron, les autres édiles PS étant appelés à faire de même dans tous le pays.

“Je réunirai dès demain matin la cellule centrale de crise de la Ville pour tirer toutes les conséquences des mesures annoncées par le Président de la République” qui a notamment annoncé la fermeture des crèches, des établissements scolaires et universités à partir de lundi, a twitté la maire socialiste.

Les maires d'arrondissement de la capitale “vont être conviés ce soir (jeudi) ou demain matin” pour une réunion à 11H00, a précisé son entourage à l'AFP.

(avec AFP et Reuters)

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