French President Macron Tests Positive for COVID-19
Oleg Burunov. Sputnik International
09:29 GMT 17.12.2020(updated 11:10 GMT 17.12.2020)
With a second wave of the coronavirus currently ongoing in France, the COVID-19 lockdown in the country was replaced with a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 8.00 pm to 6.00 am (19:00 to 05:00 GMT) starting from 15 December.
French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson for the presidency said on Thursday.
"In accordance with current health regulations applicable to everyone, the president will isolate himself for seven days, continuing to work and conduct duties remotely", the spokesperson added.
According to the statement, Macron is "still in charge" of running the country, with all other gatherings due to be held via video conference.
The spokesperson also said that the president had cancelled all his trips, including an upcoming visit to Lebanon, and that his office is now identifying those who may have contacted him before he tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to the spokesperson, it remains unclear how Macron became infected with COVID-19.
The developments come as the head of the French Senate said, without elaborating, that the country's Prime Minister Jean Castex will also self-isolate. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, wished Macron "a speedy recovery" in a Twitter message posted on Thursday. Johnson, along with US President Donald Trump, contracted the coronavirus and then successfully recovered earlier this year.
The tweet was preceded by French Prime Minister Castex saying last week that the COVID-19 lockdown in France would be replaced with a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 8.00 pm to 6.00 am (19:00 to 05:00 GMT) as of 15 December, as the country struggles to contain a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister added that there would be no curfew exceptions on New Year's Eve, noting that at the moment, France is on a plateau, with the number of new infections no longer falling, but slightly increasing in recent days.
Cultural institutions, including museums, cinemas, theatres, which the French authorities had expected to open from 15 December, will remain closed for at least three more weeks, according to Castex.
As of Wednesday, France's confirmed coronavirus cases have jumped to 2.3 million, with 58,700 fatalities, according to the World Health Organisation's latest situation report.
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