French Government Minister Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Nurse Canan Emcan shows a test kit for coronavirus samples at the isolation ward of the Uniklinikum Essen university hospital in Essen, western Germany, on March 9, 2020. - The number of coronavirus cases in Germany has passed 1,000, official data from the Robert Koch Institute disease control centre showed. …

French culture minister Franck Riester has tested positive for coronavirus following five more confirmed cases among members of the French National Assembly.

A source within the ministry told French media on Monday that the 46-year-old was not feeling overly ill but is the first senior member of the government of French President Emmanuel Macron to test positive for the virus.

Riester confirmed the claims on Tuesday in a post on Facebook reported by Le Parisien: “Today I suffer from classic flu symptoms. I sincerely thank you for your expressions of support and your wishes for a speedy recovery which particularly touched me.”

“As you know, I have been diagnosed with coronavirus. I work from my home, in connection with my office and the @MinistereCC teams. I sincerely thank all those who have shown me their support and friendship,” he added on Twitter.

Riester had spent several days among parliamentarians in the French National Assembly including centre-right Republican MP Jean-Luc Reitzer who has been admitted to hospital due to the severity of his case.

Riester is not the first major European politician to come down with a case of the virus. Italian left-wing Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti was diagnosed with coronavirus last week but also took to social media to tell the public he was feeling fine and had isolated himself in his home.

“I am at home, and I will continue following the protocols from home. My family is also following the protocols,” he said.

In the United Kingdom, government health minister Nadine Dorries was diagnosed with Coronavirus Monday, sparking concern about the hundreds of people — including Prime Minister Boris Johnson — she may have met while carrying the virus.

So far, France has seen over 1,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus along with 33 deaths, far below the confirmed death rate in Italy, which has become the epicentre of the European outbreak of the disease, which originated in China.

While President Macron has not gone to the same lengths as the Italian government, which quarantined the entire country this week, speculation has arisen as to how the outbreak will affect the nationwide municipal elections, slated to take place later this month.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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