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Emmanuel Macron: French president tests positive for Covid

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19 after developing symptoms.

Emmanuel Macron: French president tests positive for Covid
Emmanuel Macron: French president tests positive for Covid

The 42 year old will now self-isolate for seven days, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.

Mr Macron “is still in charge” of running the country and will work remotely, said an official.

EU chief Charles Michel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez are both self-isolating after coming into contact with Mr Macron on Monday.

France this week imposed an overnight curfew to help deal with soaring cases there.

There have been two million confirmed cases in the country since the epidemic began, with more than 59,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Who has Macron had contact with?

“The President of the Republic has been diagnosed positive for Covid-19 today,” the Elysée said on Thursday morning. The diagnosis was made following a “test performed at the onset of the first symptoms”, the statement added.

It is not yet known how Mr Macron caught the virus but his office said it was identifying any close contacts he has made in recent days.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55, and Parliament Speaker Richard Ferrand, 58, are both self-isolating, their offices confirmed.

Mr Castex, who is not showing any symptoms, was due to introduce the government’s Covid vaccination policy in the Senate on Thursday – now Health Minister Olivier Véran is doing it instead.

Pedro Sánchez, 48, and Charles Michel, 44, are both self-isolating after meeting the French president for lunch on Monday.

The Spanish prime minister’s office said he would be tested.

Mr Macron’s wife Brigitte, who is 67, is also self-isolating, but has no symptoms.

Mr Macron is one of several world leaders who have contracted the respiratory disease since the pandemic began. Most notably, US President Donald Trump tested positive in October, which led to him spending three days in hospital.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also caught the virus and ended up in intensive care during the country’s first wave in March.

Which other world leaders have caught Covid?

  • Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) died on Monday, four weeks after he tested positive
  • US President Donald Trump contracted the virus in October. He was given an experimental drugs cocktail and returned to the White House after three nights in hospital
  • Polish President Andrzej Duda contracted the virus in October and went into self-isolation
  • Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has spent two months in hospital in Germany after catching the disease in October – last week he appeared in video for the first time since testing positive, saying he hopes to return to Algeria soon
  • Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei tested positive in September – despite calling himself “high-risk” he did not appear to suffer a severe case
  • Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil tested positive in July and spent more than two weeks quarantining in his residence
  • In June, the outgoing president of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza died of an illness suspected by many to be Covid-19
  • Russia’s Prime Minster Mikhail Mishustin contracted the virus in April and was admitted to hospital with moderate to severe symptoms
  • UK Prime MinisterBoris Johnson tested positive in March – he spent three nights in intensive care in a London hospital, later saying he owed the health workers there his life

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 Wednesday, France registered more than 17,700 new cases.

President Macron has not tested positive for the virus before, sources have told Le Figaro.

“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,” the French news website said.

A presidential spokeswoman confirmed that all of Mr Macron’s upcoming trips, including a visit to Lebanon on 22 December, have been cancelled. BBC News

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