Until now, Jean Castex had always fallen through the cracks. Three times since the start of the pandemic, the head of government had been forced to go into isolation as a contact case. This time, the Prime Minister has indeed contracted Covid-19 after being infected by his 11-year-old daughter, ineligible for vaccination. According to those around him, the Prime Minister suffers from “mild symptoms”, in particular a “slight cough”.
His contamination comes a few days after a video showing him without a mask and shaking hands in an enclosed space caused controversy.
The Prime Minister’s quarantine will last ten days (until December 2 inclusive) and his agenda has been adjusted accordingly. He will therefore not be able to appear physically at the health defense council which will be held at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday. Ten ministers are also considered as contact cases. Clément Beaune, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Roxana Maracineanu and Gérald Darmanin tested negative Tuesday morning. The contamination of the head of government comes as the threat of a fifth wave hangs over France. The number of positive daily cases nearly doubled in one week, from 10,023 Sunday, November 14, to 18,189 this Sunday.
September 2020: contact case at the Tour de France
On the occasion of the Tour de France 2020, held in September, Jean Castex had to isolate himself for the first time. He had spent two hours in Christian Prudhomme’s car on stage eight, and the Tour boss was then tested positive for coronavirus.
“I obviously wore a mask all the time. I tried to respect the barrier gestures ”, assured the head of government. “In great shape”, the Prime Minister had tested negative. He had stayed in Matignon until D + 7 and had organized his meetings by videoconference, as required by the protocol.
December 2020: Macron contact case
Two months later, Jean Castex had been in contact again, this time with Emmanuel Macron. The head of state had tested positive on December 17. The day before, several heavyweights of the majority had met for dinner at the Elysee. Among them, Alexis Kohler (Secretary General of the Élysée), Richard Ferrand (President of the National Assembly), and Jean Castex.
The Prime Minister had been forced to cancel his passage in the Senate. He was to present the country’s vaccine strategy to the Luxembourg Palace, before discussing it with parliamentarians. “He asked me to apologize to the Senate but I do not have to excuse him because it simply applies what we ask of each French, introduced Gérard Larcher, Republican president of the upper house. I wish him the best. ”
Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, was therefore responsible for the presentation of this strategy, expressing in passing a “special thought” for Emmanuel Macron.
June 2021: contact case of his wife
On June 9, after having toured the places that had reopened as part of a new phase of deconfinement, Jean Castex, however vaccinated, was declared a contact case for the third time. His wife, Sandra Ribelaygue, had contracted the virus. The Prime Minister had visited a Parisian sports hall a few hours earlier, had gone to the vaccination center in the Rungis market and then had gone to meet traders …
Jean Castex had again tested negative, then had spent seven days in isolation. On June 19, he received his second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, after a first dose in front of the cameras on March 19.