France’s President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s presidential palace, known as the Élysée, said in a statement Thursday.
Macron is the latest major world leader to become infected with the coronavirus after President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Johnson was gravely ill with the disease before recovering.
Ambrose Dlamini, prime minister of Eswatini, the tiny monarchy that neighbors South Africa, is the only world leader who has died from COVID-19. He was 52.
Presidents and prime ministers of Armenia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras and Russia have also been infected. A senior aide to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari died of the virus in April. Dozens of White House officials and associates have tested positive. U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt tested positive Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, the U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came into contact with a person who tested positive and was quarantining.
Macron, 42, will self-isolate for seven days and continue to work, the Élysée statement said. The brief statement said Macron took a test “as soon as the first symptoms appeared.” It did not elaborate on what symptoms Macron was experiencing.
Macron attended a European Union summit at the end of last week, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He met Wednesday with the prime minister of Portugal, António Costa. On Monday, he met with Spain’s leader Pedro Sánchez.
Amid soaring coronavirus cases, France this week imposed an overnight curfew. The curfew replaced a nationwide lockdown that closed bars, restaurants and nonessential shops. France has recorded nearly 60,000 deaths from 2.5 million coronavirus cases, according to John Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard.
France’s curfew is due to be relaxed on Christmas Eve, for holiday gatherings.
EU regulators have yet to approve a German-developed vaccine against coronavirus that is already being rolled out in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Some German and French officials have called for the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech before Christmas.
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