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Friday, February 3, 2023

French prime minister tests positive for Covid-19 as cases rise

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France’s prime minister has tested positive for Covid-19, hours after returning from a visit to neighbouring Belgium and just as France is seeing a nationwide resurgence of infections, according to his office.

Jean Castex will adapt his schedule for the coming 10 days to continue his activities in isolation, his office said.

Officials at the prime minister’s headquarters did not comment on whether Mr Castex has any virus symptoms.

One of Mr Castex’s daughters tested positive on Monday after her father returned from a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo in Brussels, and Mr Castex himself then took two tests that were both positive, his office said.

Mr de Croo’s office said he will be tested on Tuesday and will self-isolate while awaiting the result, according to Belgian state broadcaster RTBF.

While 75% of France’s population is vaccinated, the number of virus infections has risen quickly in recent weeks. Hospital admissions and deaths linked to the virus are also rising in France, though are so far well below the crisis levels of earlier surges.

French President Emmanuel Macron contracted Covid-19 last December, and other government ministers have also had the virus.

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