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Monaco’s Minister of State Tests Positive as Monaco Takes Further Action and France Introduces Quarantine

There is a ninth positive case of coronavirus revealed in Monaco. The patient is Serge Telle. Analyses of a sample taken from H.E. the Minister of State were positive for COVID 19. The Minister is not very symptomatic. He remains confined to his home as part of the treatment protocol adopted by the Monegasque authorities with the establishment of medical monitoring coordinated by the CHPG. Serge Telle’s state of health is not a cause for concern. He pursues his professional activities from his home, avoiding all contact. The working meetings with all members of the Government will now be held by video conference.

An epidemiological investigation is underway in order to find out the movements made by the Minister of State over the past few days and identify the people with whom he is said to have been in contact.

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Financial Help for Monaco’s Businesses 

Faced with the economic impact of the Coronavirus, € 50 million had been released to help businesses and prevent bankruptcies. Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance and the Economy, announced: “As we do in health prevention, the Principality also applies buffer measures for the economy. We are in action!” The envelope of 50 Million euros is in the form of a guarantee from the State with banks that are requested for loans by companies in difficulty. “Our goal is to prevent bankruptcies by relieving the cash flow of troubled businesses,” said the Minister.

This announcement is in addition to the accompanying measures already decreed: the deferral of payment of VAT for two months, partial or total temporary unemployment facilitated with benefits and subsidies, the improvement of bank loans or zero-rate loans granted by banks (and whose interest will be paid by the State) and finally the establishment of a guarantee fund for the loans granted, going from 65% to 100%.

“Finally, Monégasque tenant businesses in the special Domains reserved for Monegasque citizens will benefit from rent being spread over two months and beyond,” said Mr. Castellini.

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Teleworking

The Princely Government has reiterated its desire to encourage teleworking in the Principality: “teleworking will be massively deployed with all employers who, if some refuse it, will have to justify their decision” insisted Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Social Affairs and Health.

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President Macron Enforces a New Strict Quarantine in France

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced a “war against the coronavirus” with a newly enforced strict quarantine (confinement) in France for everyone. He said the previous measures, including the closing of schools, cafes and non-essential shops, had proved insufficient.

The Minister of the Interior then clarified the details of the quarantine. People are authorized to move from their home to their workplaces only when telework is not possible.

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Other movement out of the home is limited:

  • to make essential purchases in authorized local shops; 
  • go to a health professional; 
  • travel for childcare and support vulnerable people; 
  • take your pets out near your home; 
  • exercise only on an individual basis around the home and without any gathering.

Basically people must not socialize or congregate – this is all in order to stop transmission of the virus. 100,000 law enforcement officials were mobilized to carry out checks and fine people who break the rules. The borders at the entrance to the EU and to Schengen will be closed from Tuesday noon;

1,210 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past twenty-four hours in France, and an additional 21 deaths have been announced. A total of 148 people have died and 6,633 have been noticeably infected since the start of the epidemic in the country.

The majority of those infected are no longer infected.

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Italy Faces Its Continuing Crisis 

Italy, the worst-affected nation in Europe, has more than 27.000 cases and has suffered more than 2,150 deaths. In Italy, a strict quarantine, like the one just introduced by France, has already been in force for many days. The death rate in Italy of those infected appears to have exceeded 7%. This is much higher than in hard-hit parts of Asia like China and South Korea. Experts try to explain the higher mortality quoting Italy’s older population, higher percentage of males infected and perhaps smoking.

Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that damage from the virus would be “serious and widespread. After the coronavirus, nothing will be as before.”

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