Macron free of Covid symptoms: presidency

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Macron tested positive for the virus last Thursday, showing symptoms of fatigue, coughing and muscle aches

French President Emmanuel Macron is free of Covid-19 symptoms, his office said on Thursday, a week after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

The president, who was in self-isolation at an official residence near Paris from where he ran meetings remotely, no longer needs to remain in quarantine, the Elysee Palace added.

Macron "shows no symptoms a this stage", the statement said, and "the isolation of the President can therefore end after seven days".

Macron had remained in charge "of the main issues of current affairs of our country" during his self-isolation, and would continue to do so in the coming hours and days, it said.

Macron, who had tested positive for the virus last Thursday showing symptoms of fatigue, coughing and muscle aches, promised daily updates on his health.

His office reported "signs of improvement" for the first time on Wednesday, having in previous statements described the 43-year old president's condition as "stable".

The French authorities are concerned that the Christmas holiday period could see a new spike in infections, after the country's total Covid death toll rose to nearly 62,000 this week.

Authorities said late Wednesday that nearly 15,000 new cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours, and 278 new deaths.

A vaccination campaign is to start on Sunday, with health workers and older people among the first to get jabs, the government said.

The EU gave the green light for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Monday, paving the way for the first inoculations to start across 27 countries soon after Christmas.

The French HAS health authority on Thursday cleared the vaccine for use in France.

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