The president had suffered mild symptoms. France began the deconfinement the same week that registered a peak of cases. In Sweden, the King acknowledged that they failed to manage the pandemic
French President Emmanuel Macron has coronavirus albeit with mild symptoms which made him take the test. Despite the one-week isolation, he will continue working, according to the Elysee Palace. The news comes the week that France began the progressive lifting of its second lockdown, imposed on October 30. The quarantine was replaced by a strict curfew from 8 PM to 6 AM, and the government plans to ease restrictions further with the arrival of the holidays. However, the peak of 18,254 new infections reported in the last 24 hours could generate rethinking.
Pressure to Administer Pfizer-BioNTech
The Macron government has been heavily criticized for its handling of the pandemic, and now France - along with other countries like Germany - is pressuring the European Medicines Agency to authorize the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as quickly as possible. Prime Minister Jean Castex said they expect to receive the first batch of 1.6 million doses before December 30 and the goal is to start vaccination before the end of the year.
But France is not the only European country complicated by the pandemic: Sweden has been experiencing an exponential increase in infections for almost two months. With 348,585 confirmed cases (almost 7,000 in the last 24 hours) and 7,802 deaths, Sweden is the most affected country within the Nordic bloc. In Stockholm, they fear that intensive care beds will run out anytime soon.
Faced with this scenario, even King Carl XVI Gustaf publicly expressed his discomfort at the handling of the pandemic. "The Swedish people have suffered enormously in difficult conditions," the King told state broadcaster SVT, adding: "I think we have failed", in relation to the strategy of avoiding social restrictions.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven also expressed concern: "The King observes, like us and many others, that the fact that so many people have died cannot be seen as anything other than failure."
For his part, the architect of the Swedish model, Anders Tegnell, admitted that "we are starting to approach the breaking point in many different respects."