Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
Capital News
Macron is the latest in a number of world leaders to contract Covid-19

World

Self-isolation rush after France’s Macron catches Covid-19

French President Emmanuel Macron, who tested positive for Covid-19, apears on screen as he attends a round table for the National Humanitarian Conference at the Foreign Ministry in Paris on Thursdsay. © POOL/AFP / CHARLES PLATIAU

Paris, France, Dec 17 – A host of European leaders and top French officials rushed into isolation on Thursday after President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19, upending political agendas across the continent.

A flurry of contact-tracing followed France’s confirmation that Macron had become the latest world leader to contract Covid-19, following the likes of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.

Macron, 42, was tested after the “onset of the first symptoms” and will now self isolate for seven days in accordance with national regulations, his office said in a statement.

“He will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely,” the statement said.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told a French television station later: “I had news this evening. He has real symptoms, a cough and considerable fatigue.”

The timing is awkward for Macron, who is trying to handle the pandemic crisis in his own country while keeping a close eye on Brexit talks and a host of other international issues.

Officials emphasised he was still working and was taking part in a conference on economic development on Thursday afternoon.

A source close to the presidency said that Macron had “probably been infected during an EU summit in Brussels” last week.

The French president spent 20 hours non stop with the leaders of the 26 other EU countries, including a night of negotiations.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel began isolating on Thursday pending a test result after he attended the EU summit.

But a German government spokeswoman said Chancellor Angela Merkel took a test a few days after the EU summit and it was negative.

On Monday Macron went to a conference in Paris organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

European Council president Charles Michel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez were both at the Paris conference and are isolating.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has also gone into self-isolation and cancelled all immediate events in his diary after having lunch with Macron on Wednesday.

Macron has cancelled a scheduled trip to Lebanon, where he had been pressing for far-reaching political change after a giant explosion at Beirut’s port in August.

– Dinner with allies –

It also emerged that on Wednesday evening Macron met a dozen political allies, including Prime Minister Jean Castex, over dinner.

The numbers present were double the maximum of six at a single table recommended by the government. But a source close to the administration insisted that the table had been large enough to ensure strict social distancing.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The source described the event at a “working meeting in the form of a dinner”.

Castex will self-isolate after contact with Macron, his office said, adding that he was showing no symptoms and had tested negative.

He needs another confirmed negative result before he can come out of isolation next week.

Macron’s wife Brigitte will also be self-isolating but also shows no symptoms and has tested negative.

Fellow world leaders rushed to wish Macron a speedy recovery.

“Sorry to hear my friend @EmmanuelMacron has tested positive for coronavirus. We are all wishing you a speedy recovery,” tweeted Johnson, who has locked horns with Macron in recent months over the Brexit talks.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was with Macron “with all my heart”.

“We are going to defeat this pandemic together,” she said on Twitter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had learnt of Maron’s positive test “with alarm” and wished his French counterpart a “speedy recovery and good health for many years to come”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

– Infections still high –

Macron had repeatedly urged caution against the spread of the virus and in public always wears a face mask covering his mouth and nose.

France earlier this week eased restrictions imposed to battle the second wave of the coronavirus but infection rates remain high.

There is still a nationwide overnight curfew from 8:00 pm to halt the spread of the virus while restaurants and cafes as well as theatres and cinemas remain closed.

Over 59,300 people have died in France since the start of the pandemic.

More than 17,000 new cases were registered on Wednesday alone, generating concern as people shop and travel ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Like other EU countries, France is pinning its hopes on a vaccine. Von der Leyen said on Thursday that the EU would start inoculations on December 27.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Advertisement

More on Capital News

World

Kampala, Uganda, Jan 15 – Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine on Friday claimed victory in presidential elections, rejecting as a “complete sham” early results...

Capital Health

Nairobi however remained the hardest hit county having recorded 115 cases followed by Kiambu and Kajiado which had 10 and 7 cases respectively.

County News

The party warned that such acts risk tearing the national fabric while delegating citizens to mere spectators in governing their own country.

World

Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 15 – The UN Human Rights Council elected Fiji’s ambassador as its president in 2021, following an unprecedented secret ballot after a...

Africa

Dakar, Senegal, Jan 15 – Senegal will start vaccinating vulnerable members of its population against coronavirus by the end of March, the health ministry said...

Africa

Lagos, Nigeria, Jan 15 – Nigeria will receive 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in March, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement late...

Africa

Bunia, DR Congo, Jan 15 – Forty-six Pygmies have been massacred in eastern DR Congo’s Ituri province by the notorious Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia,...

County News

Kananu was vetted by a 10-member appointments panel on Friday morning in a session that lasted barely an hour with the team led by...