French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested positive for Covid-19 Monday after a video conference with officials in Guadeloupe, in which he promised dialogue with health workers opposed to vaccination.
After an emergency video conference with officials in the French Caribbean department, Castex “condemned with the most extreme firmness” the violence that has exploded there in the past few days.
“Nothing can justify such actions, which use the health crisis as a pretext,” he said, referring to violence and looting on the island, sparked by a vaccine mandate imposed on healthcare workers, but which has spread to encompass other grievances for people on the island.
Castex announced the creation of an official dialogue mechanism to “convince and support individually and humanely” those concerned by the vaccine requirement.
“An Interior ministry mission will get to work on site as of tomorrow [Tuesday] to examine together the ways and means to allow the deployment of the vaccine mandate,” he said.
They will also “discuss subjects having to do with the department’s fire and safety services,” he added, as firefighters have also supported the protests.
Castex in Covid quarantine
Monday evening, after the meeting, Castex’s office announced he had tested positive for Covid.
His Belgian counterpart along with four ministers immediately went into quarantine, as they had met with Castex in person earlier in the day.
Castex, who is fully vaccinated against the virus, took a test after one of his daughters tested positive.
He will remain in isolation for the next ten days, and continue to work, adapting his schedule, his office said.
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