French premier tests positive for Covid-19

French premier Jean Castex (Anadolu photo)

PARIS – French premier Jean Castex tested positive for Covid-19 after one of his daughters was infected with the virus, his office confirmed Monday.

Castex, 56, was declared a contact case after his 11-year-old daughter tested positive. The prime minister earlier in the day went to Brussels for a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Alexander De Croo, and later delivered a national address on the crisis in the overseas territory of Guadeloupe.

He urged those who are unvaccinated on the island to get vaccinated.

His office said he is now in isolation and conducting important meetings via videoconference. The prime minister had received two doses of a vaccine in April.

Reports of Castex’s infection come as rising cases are being dubbed as the start of a fifth wave of infections by the government.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Sunday that there is an increase in cases of almost 80% in one week with an average of 17,000 daily cases being recorded.

Schools in at least 61 regional departments have made face masks obligatory for students, given rising cases.

At least 10 Cabinet ministers, including Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, Defense Minister Florence Parly, Culture Minister Roselyn Bachelot and Junior Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune, who recently met Castex are being considered contact cases and will be required to undergo a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

De Croo and four ministers in his Cabinet who participated in the meeting are also in quarantine. (Anadolu)