France's Macron tests positive for COVID-19, several high-ranking officials to self-isolate

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File photo taken on Nov. 12, 2020 shows French President Emmanuel Macron (L) appearing ahead of the third Paris Peace Forum at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. [Photo/Xinhua]

French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will isolate himself for seven days, the French presidency said.

After the diagnosis established by "RT-PCR tests carried out as soon as the first symptoms appear," Macron "will isolate himself for seven days" but "will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely," the presidency said in a statement.

As a result, Macron's trip to Lebanon scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday is canceled.

First Lady Brigitte Macron, who tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday and "does not present any symptoms" according to the presidential office, is also placed in self-isolation.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, who is considered "a contact case" of Macron, "has been placed in isolation although he does not show any symptoms of the disease," announced the premier's office. Castex will continue his activities remotely for the next seven days and will not go to the Senate where he was previously scheduled to present the government's vaccine strategy on Thursday.

President of National Assembly Richard Ferrand, also a "contact case" of Macron, has isolated himself, the Assembly announced in a press release.

French media reported that Marc Fesneau, Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament and Citizen Participation, as well as some leaders of political groups at the National Assembly, who had been in contact with Macron in the last week, also isolated themselves in accordance with the health instructions in force.

On Wednesday, France's health authorities reported 17,615 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day increase since Nov. 21. The country has so far registered a total of 2,409,062 cases, while deaths caused by the respiratory illness rose by 289 within a day to 59,361.

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