As President Emmanuel Macron of France entered his third day in isolation after being infected with the coronavirus, his doctor said on Saturday that he was in “stable health condition compared to Friday.”
“He is still presenting the same symptoms of the Covid-19 illness (fatigue, coughing, aches) which do not prevent him from performing his duties,” Dr. Jean-Christophe Perrochon said in a statement, adding that regular clinical examinations “have proved to be reassuring.”
On Friday, a day after the positive results of his coronavirus test were announced, Mr. Macron released a self-made video in which he promised “to report daily on the evolution of the disease” — an event and a commitment that marked a departure from France’s tradition of secrecy around the health of its presidents.
Although it is still unclear how Mr. Macron contracted the virus, France’s health minister, Olivier Véran, said on Thursday that he had probably not been infected at the presidential Élysée Palace but “possibly at a European Council four or five days ago in Brussels” during a dinner with other heads of state.
On Friday, Prime Minister Igor Matovic of Slovakia was reported to have tested positive for the virus. Mr. Matovic attended the same European Council meeting last week.
Speaking of the general situation in France, where the number of new daily cases have recently rebounded, Mr. Macron warned on Friday: “We have to be vigilant as the virus is gaining in strength again.”
France exited a lockdown imposed to fight back the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic only days ago. But the country is already grappling with a rebound in infections.
“The evolution of the pandemic is worrisome,” said Jérome Salomon, a top official at France’s health ministry, adding that the upcoming Christmas break could prove a “high-risk period.”
The number of new daily Covid-19 cases, which had fallen below 10,000 in late November thanks to lockdown restrictions, has picked up again and reached an average 13,000 cases per day over the past seven days.
In other news from around Europe:
Hungary’s government is extending a moratorium on household and business loan repayments until July and halving a local business tax collected by municipalities as of Jan. 1 to support jobs during the pandemic, according to Reuters. Opposition leaders said the tax cut would jeopardize public services and allow the nationalist government of Prime Minister Vikto Orban to exert political pressure on cities.
Northeastern Aragón became the fourth region in Spain to announce a tightening of lockdown restrictions ahead of the Christmas festive season, in order to rein in a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases. On Saturday, the regional leader, Javier Lambán, ordered residents to remain within their provinces over the Christmas holidays, making a U-turn on a previous decision that the travel ban would be lifted on Dec. 21.
The government of Sweden, which has embraced relatively few coronavirus restrictions and is grappling with a serious rise in infections, issued several new recommendations on Friday, including the use of face masks. “We need to do more now because the medical system is strained,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said. The new recommendations include a four-person-per-table limit in restaurants, cafes and bars, and a ban on the sale of alcohol after 8 p.m. Stores, shopping centers and gyms are asked to further limit the number of people in their premises. All nonessential state, municipal and county workplaces will close until Jan. 24.
Italy will limit travel between regions on holidays and weekends, restricting people to their towns and cities of residences, from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6, The Associated Press reported. There will be exceptions on four weekdays, when nonessential stores will be open, and people will be allowed to visit only with two people from other households per day.
Raphael Minder and Christina Anderson contributed reporting.
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