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French police raid homes of gov’t officials as part of COVID-19 inquiry

Oct. 15 (UPI) — Authorities on Thursday raided the homes of the former French prime minister and current and former health ministers over Paris’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The raids were carried out in connection with an investigation by Paris prosecutors after they received a number of complaints from coronavirus patients, doctors, police and other officials.

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Police conducted morning raids at the home of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, health hinister Olivier Veran and former health minister Agnes Buzyn. Officials also searched Veran’s office.

Authorities also searched the home of Sibeth Ndiaye, former spokeswoman for President Emmanuel Macron, officials said.

The investigation of public officials is targeted in scope to examine specific aspects of the government’s COVID-19 response — including their perceived failure to order workplace protections in a timely manner, provide face masks and coordinate testing early in the pandemic.

Wednesday, Macron reinstated a nationwide public health emergency and established curfews in Paris and eight other cities following a rise in cases.

Cases in France have risen recently after a lull over the summer. There were more than 22,000 new cases on Wednesday, officials said, the nation’s second highest one-day total to date.

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