France: President Emmanuel Macron Diagnosed with Covid-19
French President Emmanuel Macron has been diagnosed with Covid-19 after developing symptoms.
Emmanuel Macron, 42, will now self-isolate for seven days, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.
The president “is still in charge” of running the country and will work remotely, said an official.
EU chief Charles Michel and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez are both self-isolating after coming into contact with President Macron on December 14.
France this week imposed an overnight curfew to help deal with soaring cases there.
There have been 2 million confirmed cases in France since the coronavirus epidemic began, with more than 59,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The Elysée Palace said in a statement on December 17: “The President of the Republic has been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 today.”
The diagnosis was made following a “test performed at the onset of the first symptoms”.
It is not yet known how President Macron caught the virus but his office said it was identifying any close contacts he has made in recent days.
PM Jean Castex, 55, and Parliament Speaker Richard Ferrand, 58, are both self-isolating, their offices confirmed.
Jean Castex, who is not showing any symptoms, was due to introduce the government’s Covid vaccination policy in the Senate on December 17 – now Health Minister Olivier Véran is doing it instead.
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Spain’s PM Pedro Sánchez, 48, and EU chief Charles Michel, 44, are both self-isolating after meeting the French president for lunch on December 14.
The Spanish prime minister’s office said he would be tested.
Emmanuel Macron’s wife Brigitte, who is 67, is also self-isolating, but has no symptoms.
President Macron is one of several world leaders who have contracted the respiratory disease since the pandemic began. Most notably, President Donald Trump tested positive in October, which led to him spending three days in hospital.
UK’s PM Boris Johnson also caught the virus and ended up in intensive care during the country’s first wave in March.
Earlier this week, France eased national lockdown restrictions imposed to tackle its second wave of the pandemic. However, infection rates still remain high and a daily 20:00-06:00 curfew was imposed. The new measures have forced restaurants, cafes, theatres and cinemas to close.
On December 16, France registered more than 17,700 new cases.
Emmanuel Macron has not tested positive for the virus before, sources have told Le Figaro.
The news website said: “His wife, the first lady Brigitte Macron, had already been a contact person [for Covid-19] a few months before but the presidential couple had until now managed to avoid contracting the virus.”
A presidential spokeswoman confirmed that all of Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming trips, including a visit to Lebanon on December 22, have been canceled.