French police search homes of top officials in virus probe

An empty carousel is pictured in the Tuileries gardens Wednesday, Oct.14, 2020 in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron is giving a nationally telev...

An empty carousel is pictured in the Tuileries gardens Wednesday, Oct.14, 2020 in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron is giving a nationally telev...

PARIS (AP) — French police searched the homes of the former prime minister, the current and former health ministers and other top officials Thursday in an investigation into the government response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Health Ministry confirmed the dawn searches, which included the offices of the current health minister Olivier Veran. They came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron announced curfews in Paris and eight other French cities to deal with the rising toll of new infections. COVID-19 patients, doctors, prison personnel, police officers and others in France filed an unprecedented 90 complaints over recent months, notably over shortages of masks and other equipment.

A special French court has ordered an investigation over the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Among those whose homes were searched include former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Veran, his predecessor Agnes Buzyn, top health official Jerome Salomon, and Sibeth Ndiaye, a former government spokeswoman.