DIRECT – Containment is hardening in France. From this Tuesday, March 24, open markets close and jogging is subject to strict rules. In France, 730,000 people are partially unemployed, but the Paris stock market is opening up, boosted by the support of the Fed, the upcoming lifting of confinement in China and the drop in the number of deaths in 24 hours in Italy.
France officially enters this Tuesday in state of health emergency and the prospect of a return to normal is fading away, while traffic restrictions may be lifted in Wuhan, the cradle of the epidemic in China.
The Covid-19 has made 860 dead in France since the beginning of the epidemic, so five doctors, and 2,082 patients were on Monday evening in intensive care, announced the Minister of Health Olivier Veran. Twenty residents of a nursing home in Cornimont (Vosges) died in particular “possibly linked to the Covid-19”, according to regional authorities.
Faced with this worsening of the situation, the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned that “the time of confinement may last a few more weeks”, announcing a tightening of containment measures: closure of early markets and tougher conditions for the practice of sport. Jogging and going out with children is now limited to one hour, within a radius of 1km around the home, once a day.
In France, partial unemployment already affects 730,000 people, just days after the implementation of the measure which has already cost 2.2 billion euros, Bruno Le Maire announced on Tuesday. The Minister of the Economy also announced that the tax-free bonus of 1,000 euros paid to employees present at their work will no longer be subject to a profit-sharing agreement in companies with less than 250 employees.
To overcome the shortage of labor in the agricultural world, the Minister of Agriculture Guillaume Durand asked the French “without activity” to go “to the fields”: “you have to produce to feed the French” .
The High Council of Public Health has ruled on chloroquine. It can only be administered to patients suffering from “severe forms” of the coronavirus.
Worldwide, covid19 has killed more than 16,000 people.
⏳ Sfollow live the evolution of the crisis on this Tuesday, March 24
9:40 am: The bonus of 1,000 euros can be paid even without a profit-sharing agreement
The tax-free premium of 1,000 euros that companies can pay to their employees mobilized during the health crisis of the coronavirus will no longer be subject to “no conditions” prior, announced Tuesday the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire.
“We lift the obligation of profit-sharing agreement”, announced the minister on France info, estimating that there was therefore “no more conditions” for the payment of this tax-free bonus.
Several large retail chains have announced their decision to pay such a bonus for their front line employees to ensure the maintenance of the food supply during this period of population containment.
The Minister of Economy last Friday called on companies to pay this bonus especially to employees who “had the courage to go to their place of work” in the context of the epidemic of new coronavirus.
This possibility of bonus, created following the crisis of “yellow vests” of winter 2018-2019, had been renewed in 2020 but only for companies having concluded a profit-sharing agreement with their employees. Signing this type of agreement has also been simplified to encourage SMEs to take advantage of it.
We will suspend, for companies with less than 250 employees, the obligation to have a profit-sharing agreement so that they can pay a bonus without charges and without taxes up to € 1000 in order to reward employees who go to their place of work @franceinfo
– Bruno Le Maire (@BrunoLeMaire) March 24, 2020
9:32 a.m .: The French “who have no more activity” called to help farmers by going “in the fields”
The Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume launched Tuesday “an appeal to the army in the shadow of men and women” who “are no longer active” because of the coronavirus crisis, “to join the great army of French agriculture “, in search of manpower.
“Today there is the possibility of having 200,000 direct jobs in agriculture”, deprived of labor, especially foreign labor, which it usually employs for field work, explained Didier Guillaume on BFMTV, asking to those who wish to go “in the fields”. “You have to produce to feed the French”.
9:25 a.m .: Possible losses of 40 billion euros for the French tourism sector
The coronavirus pandemic could lose 40 billion euros to the tourist industry in France over three months, said Tuesday the Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. “If the situation were to last three months, it is around 40 billion euros that evaporate for our territories, for these tourist industries that support two million people throughout the country”.
The sector “generates for all our territories about 170 billion euros each year of tourism revenue, between international tourists and French,” said the Secretary of State.
9:17 a.m .: The Paris Stock Exchange opens up 4.43% to 4,087.61 points
The Paris Stock Exchange started up sharply on Tuesday March 24 (+ 4.43%), trying to see the glass half full, between the support of the Fed, the upcoming lifting of containment in China and the decline in the number of dead in Italy for the 2nd day in a row.
At 9:00 a.m., the CAC 40 index gained 173.30 points to 4,087.61 points. The day before, it had finished down 3.32%.
8:55 a.m .: 730,000 workers are on short-term work announces Bruno Le Maire
The use of partial unemployment in France concerns 730,000 workers “after only a few days” of setting up the expanded system during the coronavirus crisis, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.
The cost of the measure is already 2.2 billion euros, said the minister adding: “we have provisioned 8.5 billion euros, it will be more”.
By funding the partial unemployment of employees forced to stop, the State aims to save jobs in the event of a temporary drop in activity.
The finance law amending the state budget adopted last week provides for 5.5 billion euros paid by the state and 3 billion by Unedic for this device.
This sum makes it possible to finance the equivalent of 15% of the hours worked for two months, had indicated the ministry for Work six days ago, whereas the partial unemployment still concerned only 400,000 employees.
8:50 am: The closure of outdoor markets: “an economic disaster”, says the sector
The closure of early markets outdoor in France, announced Monday evening by the Prime Minister to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, is an “economic disaster” for a whole industry, said Tuesday the federation of the sector.
“Even though we expected there would be catch provisions, tighter rules than keeping our markets, we still had high hopes that the markets could continue,” said Monique Rubin, president of the National Federation of French Markets on France Inter.
Derogations may be requested where the markets are the only means of gaining access to fresh produce. No exemption will be requested in Paris, has already warned the entourage of Anne Hidalgo
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements, we take note of the measures to strengthen containment and we will not ask for an exemption for the Parisian markets.
– Emmanuel GREGOIRE (@egregoire) March 23, 2020
The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire Tuesday called the signs of the big distribution to get supplies from French farmers, penalized by the closing of the markets announced Monday by the Prime Minister.
“I call the big distributors to a new effort: stock up on French products”, declared the minister on France info, estimating that during this crisis the French economy will need “economic patriotism”.
– Bruno Le Maire (@BrunoLeMaire) March 24, 2020
8:30 am: Drop in new cases in Italy: health authorities very cautious
Italian health officials on Tuesday called for “no illusions” about the decline in the number of new cases the day before on the peninsula, urging people to comply more than ever with safety regulations.
According to the official balance sheet released on Monday evening, new cases dropped to 4,789 from 6,557 on Saturday. Italy has registered 601 new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours, a figure also down, or 6,077 since the start of the epidemic.
“We have to look at the data very carefully, analyze it epidemiologically. We have to wait a few days to understand what the trend is, we are living in a very important week”, explained the president of the Higher Institute of Health Silvio Brusaferro.
“Bad behavior today will have consequences in the next two weeks,” he warned. “Our ability to be rigorous in respecting the rules will certainly influence the evolution of curves (contagion) in all regions,” he insisted.
The vast majority of Italians now seem to accept and respect the restrictive measures, as shown by the deserted streets of the main Italian cities from Milan to Naples, via Rome and Florence, far from the crowds observed two weeks ago on the beaches or in the parks.
According to a survey published this weekend by the daily La Repubblica, 94% of those questioned consider the measures adopted by the executive to be “positive”, even “very positive”, from the closure of schools to the cessation of commercial activities by limiting the movement of people.
8:24 am: No reason to close the markets for the CEO of Euronext
“There is no reason to close the markets because the markets are working,” said Stephane Boujnah, chairman of the Euronext executive board, on Tuesday.
8:00 am: An exceptional G20 summit this Thursday, March 26
The G20 heads of state and government will hold talks by videoconference on Thursday about the coronavirus epidemic, while some criticize the group for being slow in facing the economic consequences of the crisis.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers promised Monday in a separate video conference to develop an “action plan” to respond to the epidemic that, according to the International Monetary Fund, will cause a global recession.
Thursday’s extraordinary summit will take place against the backdrop of an oil price war between two G20 member states, Saudi Arabia and Russia, and mounting tensions between two others, the United States and China, over the origin of the epidemic which left 378,000 sick and more than 16,500 dead.
Given the constraints of monetary policy, the G20 countries have little alternative than a fiscal stimulus to support growth, said Agathe Demarais, director of global forecasting at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
7.42 a.m .: Travel restrictions to be lifted in Wuhan and surrounding area in China
The Chinese city of Wuhan (center), the cradle of the Covid-19 epidemic, will lift travel restrictions on April 8 after more than two months of confinement, local authorities announced on Tuesday. Residents of the rest of Hubei province will be able to cross provincial borders as of this Wednesday, March 25. Only healthy inhabitants will be able to move freely at first.
This area, populated by 56 million inhabitants, was quarantined at the end of January. But restrictions have been gradually lifted since President Xi Jinping’s March visit. The number of new cases has been extremely low in recent weeks in Hubei. Even if additional contamination was reported Tuesday in Wuhan by the Ministry of Health. Schools will remain closed for the time being in the province.
At the national level, China reported on Tuesday 78 new cases of Covid-19, 74 of which were caused by people arriving from abroad. A trend that fears a new wave of contagion in the country. Seven deaths were also recorded, all in Wuhan, according to the official report of the Ministry of Health.
A total of 427 imported cases have already been reported in China. Almost all of the new infections on Chinese soil now concern these returnees or those from abroad, while the epidemic seemed to be under control in the country. Authorities in Beijing announced on Tuesday that anyone arriving in the city would be subjected to a biological test from Wednesday.
With more than 80,000 cases and 3,277 deaths officially recorded, China is the second most bereaved country in the world by the new coronavirus after Italy.
6:00 a.m .: BioMerieux receives emergency use authorization from the FDA for a Covid-19 test
BioMerieux announced Tuesday in a press release: having received emergency use authorization from the American health authorities (Food and Drug Administration, FDA) for the BIOFIRE Covid-19 test. This test is intended for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which it detects in approximately 45 minutes from a nasopharyngeal sample taken with a swab.
4:14 am: Asian stock markets open higher
The Chinese and Japanese stock markets resumed colors Tuesday after the announcements of the American Federal Reserve to limit the economic consequences of Covid-19 and a call of Beijing to favor the resumption of work.
At midday, the Hang Seng index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange rose 3.28% to 22,408.17 points. In mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange gained 1.48% to 2,699.43 points and that of Shenzhen 1.08% also to 1,649.51 points.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange was robust on Tuesday at the start of the session, continuing to benefit in particular from the fall of the yen against the dollar, favorable to Japanese exporters. The star index Nikkei, which had already gained 2% on Monday, jumped 4.57% to 17,659.45 points Tuesday morning, while the expanded Topix index gained 2.7% to 1,326.86 points.
The Fed announced on Monday a new round of measures to save the US economy from the serious consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among them are the unlimited purchase of bonds and various mechanisms to be able to come directly to the aid of companies, including SMEs.
In mainland China, investors reacted positively to Beijing announcements calling for “an end to restrictions” linked to the Covid-19 pandemic “which are hampering the resumption of work” in areas considered to be low risk.
“Local authorities must renounce all unnecessary prior authorization and compulsory quarantine for people, except those coming from regions of medium or high risk,” said a statement from the Chinese government released Monday evening after a meeting. chaired by Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
Residents of Wuhan (center), where the new coronavirus was identified in December, are now allowed to return to work under certain conditions and public transport resumes after two months of confinement. The city is notably a major center of the Chinese automobile industry.
3:00 a.m .: Almost two billion people confined to the world, but the pandemic is accelerating
Worldwide, more than 1.8 billion people confined, a toll that exceeds 16,000 dead and the systems of several developed countries on the brink of asphyxiation: the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate and to spread chaos everywhere worldwide.
The coronavirus pandemic “accelerates” but its trajectory can be changed, said the World Health Organization on Monday, calling on countries to take the “attack” by testing all cases and placing their relatives in quarantine contacts.
This Tuesday, it is the British who discover the daily caulked. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after weeks of procrastination, finally rallied to it, decreeing Monday evening confinement for at least three weeks in the United Kingdom.
In Russia, it was the effective closure of schools that came into effect this week, while Muscovites over the age of 65 were either forced to stay at home or to retire to their country house.
In Europe, the milestone of 10,000 people killed by the coronavirus was crossed at the start of this week, the majority in Italy (around 6,000), for a total of nearly 185,000 cases of infection – official accounts probably lower than the reality.
12:15 am: A strong dollar, “it’s good”, but it makes trade “more difficult” according to Trump
Donald Trump said Monday that a strong dollar “is good”, but that it made (export) trade “more difficult”, in what is a breach of the long tradition that a president American is careful not to comment on the exchange rate.
The president also noted that the dollar “was very, very strong, especially against other currencies”.
A strong dollar makes purchases of American products more expensive for export, but increases the purchasing power on imported products. The dollar has appreciated tremendously, with investors around the world rushing into dollar investments considered safer as the global economy is shaken by the new coronavirus.
00h00: Cuba places its tourists in isolation from this Tuesday
Cuba will isolate all tourists still present on the island on Tuesday, when the partial border closure for a month comes into force, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced on Monday, as the country has 40 cases of coronavirus.
“All the tourists still present in the hotels are placed in isolation (…), they cannot leave the hotel” until finding a flight to return to their homes, he said to the television, adding that 32,500 foreign tourists were in Cuba on Monday.