French President Macron tests positive for coronavirus

Paris, France - The presidential palace reported that the French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. This puts his plans to visit Lebanon next week in jeopardy.

Marcon tested positive after symptons appeared.
Marcon tested positive after symptons appeared.  © imago images / Hans Lucas

Macron was tested when the first symptoms appeared. The Elysee Palace said that he will go into isolation for seven days, but they did not provide further details about the president's symptoms.

The statement also said that Marcon will continue working from home during isolation.

French media reported that the Prime Minister Jean Castex will also go into quarantine because he had close contact with Marcon.

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Castex has not shown any symptoms so far and was tested on Thursday morning.

European Council President Charles Michel's spokesperson announced that Michel is also in quarantine after travelling to Paris and meeting with Marcon at the Elysee Palace on Monday for an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) event.

Barend Leyts tweeted that the Belgian politician was informed "by the French authorities that he is not considered to be a close contact." Michel tested negative on Tuesday.

"However as a matter of precaution the president will go into self-isolation," Leyts said. Michel is to carry on working.

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Macron met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa the day before his diagnosis.
Macron met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa the day before his diagnosis.  © imago images / IP3press

Macron is scheduled to travel to Lebanon next week. At the beginning of December he organized an online international aid conference with the United Nations, aimed at stabilizing the troubled country.

The presidential palace has yet to comment on the travel plans or a possible postponement.

Sources close to the Elysee Palace said that distancing rules had been observed during a government meeting chaired by Macron on Wednesday. All participants wore face masks, which rules them out as contact persons.

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The French president also met with Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Paris on Wednesday.

Several heads of states including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have already been infected with the novel coronavirus.

Johnson contracted Covid-19 in the spring and had to be treated in hospital for severe symptoms. "I'm sorry to hear that my friend Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for the virus," he wrote on Twitter, wishing the French president a speedy recovery.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wished Macron "a speedy and full recovery."

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, over 2.4 million cases and more than 59,000 deaths have been recorded in France, which has a population of 67 million.

Cover photo: imago images / Hans Lucas

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