Slovak Prime Minister Matovic Tests Positive for COVID-19

Slovak Prime Minister Matovic Tests Positive for COVID-19
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic delivers a statement next to Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (not pictured) in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Oct. 8, 2020. (Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters)

PRAGUE—Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Friday he had COVID-19, a week after attending a summit with French President Emmanuel Macron who later tested positive for the disease.

Matovic, 47, posted a message showing his positive test and an order to observe 10 days of isolation on Facebook, but did not say where he had been infected.

The government office said he had cancelled all events for the coming days but gave no details of the circumstances behind him being tested. Matovic did not mention having any symptoms.

The announcement on Thursday that Macron had tested positive for COVID-19 prompted a track-and-trace effort across Europe following numerous meetings between the French leader and European Union heads of government, some of whom decided to self-isolate.

A French presidential official said it was almost certain Macron was infected at last week’s EU summit in Brussels, given the timing of his symptoms.

Friday’s announcement that Matovic had tested positive triggered self-quarantine announcements by a number of ministers who had attended a government meeting with Matovic on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the government approved a partial lockdown starting on Saturday as numbers of new infections rose across the country of 5.5 million people.

“For nine months I have been battling people who measure the pandemic just by the number of closed bars and incite people against measures and the government. I admit I am out of strength and was hoping for a few days without stress,” he said on Facebook. “Now it seems it will be a different holiday.”

By Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet