Macron will isolate himself for seven days while continuing to work.
Rabat – French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19.
The presidential Elysee Palace announced Macron’s infection today and said he took a test for COVID-19 as soon as he began to display symptoms of the virus.
The statement said Macron will isolate himself for seven days while continuing to work and “take care of his activities at a distance.”
Macron has canceled his scheduled trip to Lebanon. Having visited Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi last week, Macron’s diagnosis is likely to trigger a round of COVID-19 testing in Cairo’s top ranks.
France’s 42-year-old president is not in the high-risk category for COVID-19 and his office aimed to assure the French people that Macron was “still in charge” of the country. Macron joins a long list of political leaders who have contracted COVID-19, including key allies US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Elysee Palace has so far been quiet on how or where Macron contracted the virus, and whether the virus managed to spread to others in the presidential office. The recent spread of COVID-19 in the presidential offices of the US and Algeria revealed how the virus can rapidly spread from low-level staffers to the very top of government.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex will also self-isolate, according to the prime minister’s office, which likely indicates Castex was recently in close contact with Macron, or that he has tested positive himself. Macron also met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Wednesday. The two European leaders shared lunch together.
Macron is an avid user of Twitter, but remained silent about his infection on the social media platform popular among politicians for its ability to speak directly to the public. Macron was still tweeting about climate change and a “made in France” campaign until his communications stopped yesterday.
The news of the French president’s infection comes two days after France lifted its national lockdown. On Tuesday, the government decided to replace the lockdown with nighttime curfews after daily recorded cases fell from 11,533 to 3,063. However, since Monday, daily cases again rose to 11,481 yesterday.
According to the presidential palace, Macron is experiencing the “onset of the first symptoms,” which indicates the president could experience worsening symptoms in days to come. The palace stated that “in accordance with current health regulations applicable to all, the President of the Republic will isolate himself for 7 days.”
According to the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), “a duration of 14 days is advised for the quarantine of persons who have had contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.”
European guidelines dictate that an infected patient requires another COVID-19 test on day 10 following infection to “determine whether continued isolation is required.” However, the ECDC warned that “ending quarantine early has a residual risk.”