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Macron ‘doing better’ after Covid diagnosis, said French president’s office

French President Emmanuel Macron, who contracted Covid-19 last week, is doing better, his office said on Wednesday.

Macron 'doing better' after Covid diagnosis, said French president's office
Emmanuel Macron is self-isolating in Versailles and holding meetings via video link. Photo: AFP

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

The president, who self-confined in an official residence near Paris from where he is running meetings remotely, had promised daily updates on his health.

He is now “showing signs of improvement,” the Elysee palace said, without giving details.

All previous daily updates had said that the 43-year old president was in a “stable” condition.

 

The Prime Minister Jean Castex, who has been self-isolating since Macron's diagnosis, tested negative for the virus on Wednesday, his office said, so can now resume his duties in person.

The French authorities are concerned that the holiday period could see a new spike in infections, after the country's total Covid death toll went above 60,000 last week.

Authorities said on Tuesday that nearly 12,000 new cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours, and 386 deaths.

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

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HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

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