CategoryFrance

French researchers invent breath test to spot Covid-19 in the air

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A hospital research team in the southern city of Lyon has come up with an instant breath test to tell whether someone has coronavirus or not. The discovery could pave the way for new coronavirus testing beyond throat and nose swabs.

It may be too early to say whether testing a person’s breath for Covid-19 will be a game changer in France’s efforts to tackle the pandemic, but for some researchers, it is a step in the right direction.

“We’re pretty confident we’re on the right track,” Christian George, director of the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) at the la Croix-Rousse hospital in Lyon told Reuters.

“Two months ago, we still knew very little about this disease, and now, we are starting to get information that is becoming clearer by the day,” he noted.

That information is given out by a new breathalyser: a grey machine, the size of a refrigerator, that identifies chemical compounds in exhaled air.

The contraption is currently being tested on patients at the la Croix-Rousse hospital.

Patients are required to blow into a tube and in a matter of seconds they are told if they have Covid-19 or not.

George and his team have tested dozens of people in three months, 20 of whom had the virus.

Unlike the uncomfortable standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, the new breathalyser is not invasive and provides an immediate result.

https://www.rfi.fr/en/science-and-technology/20200802-french-researchers-invent-breath-test-spot-covid-19-air-we-breatheHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Rheumatoid arthritis drug may fight severe COVID-19, early data show

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In a small study from France, an immune-dampening drug used by people battling rheumatoid arthritis showed promise in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.

The drug, called anakinra, targets pro-inflammatory responses that kick into high gear in advanced COVID-19—the so-called “cytokine storm.”

A team led by Dr. Gilles Kaplanski, of the Public Assistance Hospital in Marseille, reported that in a study involving 22 very ill patients, “all of the patients treated with anakinra improved clinically with no deaths, significant decreases in oxygen requirements, and more days without invasive mechanical ventilation.”

The drug also seemed to have a “rapid” effect, with fever receding at an average of three days after the first intravenous infusion was given, the researchers reported July 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-rheumatoid-arthritis-drug-severe-covid-.htmlHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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France gives health care workers “historic” pay raises for Bastille Day

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To honor the frontline workers who have been risking their lives for months during the coronavirus pandemic, France celebrated Bastille Day by giving them “historic” pay raises. The country hosted scaled-down celebrations honoring health care workers during the national holiday on Tuesday as its partial lockdown continued. 

While health care workers around the world have been praised as heroes during the pandemic, many have demanded more than just nightly clapping. Workers in France sought pay raises, staff increases and increased funding for hospitals in their negotiations. 

On Monday, the French government granted health care workers 8 billion euros, or about $9.1 billion, in pay raises. The decision followed seven weeks of negotiations with trade unions, BBC News reports. 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/france-gives-health-care-workers-historic-pay-raises-for-bastille-day/?ftag=CNM-00-10aag7eHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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France to fully reopen schools after scrapping 4m sq distance rule

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The reopen of France’s schools has been accelerated on the back of continued positive news on coronavirus infection levels.

While most schools in France are now open, limits on class sizes mean that many pupils are only attending part time, while other parents have opted to keep their children at home.

However, this is set to change, after president Emmanuel Macron is his address to the nation on Sunday night declared: “As of Monday, in France and overseas French territories, nurseries, schools and secondary schools will prepare to welcome all students.”

“From June 22nd,” the president continued, “attendance will be compulsory.”

On Monday the education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer added that the rule requiring 4 m sq of space per pupils – which had dramatically limited class sizes – will be scrapped.

https://www.thelocal.fr/20200614/france-moves-to-fully-reopen-schoolsHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Fauci confident in vaccine efforts, predicts no more US lockdowns

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The United States does not need more widespread lockdowns to bring its COVID-19 outbreak under control, despite the fact that the national daily infection rate has stayed flat, leading government expert Anthony Fauci said Thursday.

Speaking to AFP, the physician-scientist added he was optimistic the world would soon have a vaccine that would end the pandemic, calling early trial results “encouraging.”

“I don’t think we’re going to be talking about going back to lockdown,” he said when asked whether places like California and Texas that are seeing a surge in their caseload should reissue stay-at-home orders.

https://www.france24.com/en/20200619-fauci-confident-in-vaccine-efforts-predicts-no-more-us-lockdowns

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The Eiffel Tower Is to Reopen After Its Longest Closure Since World War II

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Workers are preparing the Eiffel Tower for reopening next week, after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War II.

France’s tourism industry is opening back up, but the 324-meter (1,063-feet) tall wrought-iron tower won’t immediately welcome visitors the way it did before the country went into lockdown in March.

Only limited numbers of people will be allowed in when the Eiffel Tower opens again on June 25. Elevators to the top will be out of service, at least at first, and only the first and second floors will be accessible to the public.

“At first, only visits by the stairs will be available,” Victoria Klahr, the spokeswoman for the tower’s management, said Tuesday.

Everyone over 11 years old will be required to wear face masks, and crowd control measures will be in place.

“We are optimistic that visitor numbers will pick up, even if it will likely be local tourists who visit the monument in the first weeks,” Klahr said.

The tower’s director told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he hopes access will be back to normal by August.

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French Coronavirus Death Toll Stays Under 30 for the sixth day on the trot

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France reported 29 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, taking the total to 29,436, the fifth-highest in the world, and marking the sixth day with under 30 fatalities.

And the number of new confirmed cases of the disease was only up 152, the lowest increase in 14 days, at 157,372.

The government also reported the number of people in hospital fell by 129 to 10,752 and those in intensive care units fell by 23 to 846, with both tallies continuing weeks-long down-trends.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-06-15/french-coronavirus-24-hour-death-toll-under-30-for-sixth-dayHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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France to accelerate easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions

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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday said he was accelerating plans to ease the country’s coronavirus lockdown to revive the euro zone’s second biggest economy more swiftly.

Macron promised that the cost of keeping companies afloat and people in jobs during the worst economic downturn since World War II would not be passed to households through taxes.

Restaurants and cafes in Paris will be allowed to reopen fully on Monday, Macron said in a televised address, bringing relief to a hospitality industry battered by the crisis.

On June 22, all nursery schools, primary schools and junior high schools will be open and mandatory for all students — instead of classes capped to small groups and many children staying at home.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/france-accelerate-easing-coronavirus-lockdown-restrictions-n1231039HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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France sees no rise in infections since lifting of lockdown

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Coronavirus cases in France continue to fall one month after ending the strict eight-week lockdown, with no ‘second peak’ in infections as restaurants open, children return to school and families travel for weekend breaks.

The figures offer a rosy picture for Emmanuel Macron, the president, to present to the nation in an address on Sunday night that will attempt to reassure an anxious public that the government has a viable “post-virus” plan to put the country back on its feet.

Authorities say there are only 933 virus patients in intensive care across the country, down from 7,148 in April. The number of new admissions to emergency units, meanwhile, was 20 in the last 24 hours. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/13/macron-announce-post-covid-plan-france-sees-no-rise-infections/HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Italy reopens borders to tourists after economically crippling coronavirus lockdown

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Facing its worst recession since World War II, Italy reopened its borders to international travelers Wednesday as part of a larger effort to draw in tourism dollars and give recently reopened businesses an added boost after they were shuttered for nearly three months during the coronavirus lockdown.

But other European nations think Italy’s move is too premature and don’t plan to reopen their borders until June 15. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has warned Europe not to treat Italy “like a leper,” as many countries begin to lift travel restrictions on other nations, but not Italy, Agence France-Presse reported.

In the final phase of easing its long coronavirus lockdown, Italy became the first European country to fully open its international borders on Wednesday, dropping the 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors. Italy also resumed high-speed train service between regions for the first time since early March, checking departing passengers’ temperatures as they accessed the tracks

https://www.foxnews.com/us/italy-reopen-border-foreign-travel-tourism-coronavirusHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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