French health minister's home searched in coronavirus response investigation

The home and office of France’s health minister Olivier Veran have been searched by police, as part of an investigation into the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officers also searched the homes of ex-prime minister Edouard Philippe and former health minister Agnes Buzyn, as well as other top officials.

The investigation into the handling of the pandemic has been ordered by a special court in France.

Patients, prison staff and police officers have filed 90 complaints in the last few months, largely over shortages of masks and other equipment and the speed in which large-scale COVID-19 testing was rolled out.

Image: Paris is subject to more curfew measures

It comes a day after President Emmanuel Macron announced curfews in Paris and other major cities, including Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint Etienne and Toulouse, with the measures lasting for four weeks, starting on Saturday.

It means people cannot go to restaurants or visit friends, but there will be no restrictions on public transport or on travel between regions.

France reported 22,591 new daily cases on Wednesday – the third time in six days that the daily total has surpassed 20,000.

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COVID-19 patients also occupy a third of the country’s intensive care beds.

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Speaking on French television, Mr Macron said the situation was “worrying” but the country had not yet “lost control” of the pandemic. He did, however, say the country was experiencing a second wave.

Mr Macron went on to say that anyone breaking the curfew rules would be fined €135 (£122).