French Finance Minister tests positive for coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Recovery, wearing a protective face mask, attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday he had tested positive for coronavirus, but had no symptoms and would continue to carry out his duties while quarantined at home.

“I tested positive for COVID-19 this evening,” Le Maire said in a statement on Twitter, adding that he would remain at home for seven days. “I immediately followed the health measures brought in by the government by self-isolating at home.”

He gave no further details.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex last week tested negative for COVID-19, after he came into contact with someone who tested positive at the Tour de France cycle race.

France has been grappling with a surge in new confirmed coronavirus cases, and earlier on Friday reported a record number of 13,215 for any 24 hour period since the start of the pandemic. The daily death toll jumped to a four-month high.

Epidemiologists blame the increase on a combination of faster circulation of the virus and a six-fold increase in testing since the government made it free.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Geert De Clercq; Writing by Sarah White, Editing by William Maclean