French Health Minister, Ex-PM Have Homes Raided in Coronavirus Investigation

French Health Minister Olivier Veran wears a face mask during a press conference to presen

French Health Minister Olivier Veran, former prime minister Edouard Philippe, and several other officials were raided by police as part of an investigation into the handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The investigation is part of an inquiry into the government’s handling of the Chinese coronavirus this year, as critics have accused officials of taking too long to implement widespread testing for the virus and not stressing the importance of wearing masks.

Police also raided the homes of Jérôme Salomon, the director-general of the French Health Service, and Sibeth Ndiaye, who previously served as a spokesperson for French President Emmanuel Macron, Il Giornale reports.

Other current Macron government officials, such as current prime minister Jean Castex, are also under investigation in the probe, which questions whether the government failed to have enough personal protective equipment at the outbreak of the virus, among other things.

Earlier this year, residents of the commune of Plaintel near the city of Saint-Brieuc, along with the union Solidaires Côtes d’Armor, slammed the government for allowing a local factory that produced masks to close in 2018.

The factory, which had been owned by U.S. corporation Honeywell, had not only shut down and moved operations but also destroyed the equipment used to make the masks.

The French government had previously ordered 200 million masks from the factory during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

France, along with many other European countries, was forced to request shipments of masks from China during the initial weeks and months of the outbreak, but many of the masks and other medical equipment coming from China did not pass European Union standards and had to be recalled.

Earlier this week, President Macron announced new curfew measures in several major metropolitan areas, including the Paris region, to stop the growing number of cases in recent weeks.

The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew is expected to last at least four weeks but President Macron has stated that he will push to have it extended to six weeks. It will see people fined up to 1,500 euros for multiple violations and require permits to venture outside at night.

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


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.