17 Dec 2020: French President Emmanuel Macron tests positive for coronavirus
French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for coronavirus, joining the long list of notable international personalities to have contracted the disease, that originated in China late last year.
The 42-year-old got tested after the symptoms surfaced. He will remain in isolation for seven days, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.
He is still in charge of the country and will work remotely.
Source: It's unclear how Macron got infected
It was not immediately revealed how Macron contracted the infection, but his office added those who came in contact with him were being identified.
"The President of the Republic has been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 today. This diagnosis was made following a PCR test performed at the onset of the first symptoms," the statement, put out on Thursday morning, said.
Leaders: Trump, Johnson, Bolsonaro had tested positive earlier
Before Macron, leaders like US' President Donald Trump, UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernández, Bolivia's President Jeanine Añez, contracted the fatal disease.
The disease has infected 74,635,260 around the world and killed 52,460,164.
In France alone, 2,409,062 have tested positive, 59,361 have died, making it the fifth worst-hit nation after the US, India, Brazil, and Russia.
Second wave: France imposed night curfew after a nationwide second lockdown
One of the first European nations to be hit by COVID-19, France was impacted again by the second wave, forcing the authorities to impose a nationwide lockdown.
This week, the restrictions ended after nearly a month and a half, but France chose to keep the night curfew intact.
From 8:00 pm until 6:00 am, people can venture out only for work or for medical reasons.
Vaccination: France could begin vaccinating its population before 2021
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex said France will begin administering the vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech from the last week of December, should the European Union approve it next week.
He revealed an order for 200 million doses of vaccines has been placed.
The government plans to inoculate one million people in nursing homes by February and would later target a wider population.
Details: After Macron's diagnosis, PM is self-isolating
Castex, 55, was supposed to unveil the government's COVID-19 vaccination policy today in the Senate. But Health Minister Olivier Véran would be filling in for him since the PM has been identified as a "contact case."
He is self-isolating and has not shown any symptoms so far.
Notably, the statement from Macron's office didn't say whether his 67-year-old wife Brigitte also tested positive.