WHO chiefs’ self-quarantine after contact is tested positive for Covid-19

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The head of the World Health Organization said late Sunday that he was in quarantine after someone he had been in contact with tested positive for Covid-19, but stressed he had no symptoms.

“I have been identified as a contact by someone who has tested positive for # COVID19,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet.

“I am fine and asymptomatic, but will self-assemble in the coming days in line with @WHO protocols and work from home,” he added.

Tedros has spearheaded the UN Health Agency’s efforts to combat the pandemic.

Covid-19 has claimed nearly 1.2 million lives and infected over 46 million people worldwide since emerging in China at the end of last year.

‘Suppress the virus’

Tedros stressed on Twitter that “it is critically important that we all adhere to health guidelines.”

“This is how we break chains of # COVID19 transmission, suppress the virus and protect healthcare systems.”

The 55-year-old former Ethiopian health and foreign affairs minister has for several months reiterated that each person has a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus.

The WHO urges all individuals to be careful with hand washing, wearing masks and keeping their distance, while urging authorities at various levels to work to find, isolate, test and care for cases and then track and quarantine their contacts.

His comments came as there is growing anger and irritation over new coronavirus curbs as several European nations wound the unclean back into the spring with new lockdowns and restrictions aimed at stopping galloping infections and deaths.

European governments are desperate to stem the worrying rise of infections.

The continent has recorded more than 279,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Geneva, where the WHO is headquartered, declared a new state of emergency on Sunday, saying it would go beyond Swiss national measures and close all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops.

Authorities in the region of about 500,000 people said the new measures were necessary due to increasing cases – with more than 1,000 positive daily tests in recent days – and also balloon numbers of Covid-19 patients at Geneva hospitals and emergency departments.

The health situation is also deteriorating in the United States, which under President Donald Trump has become one of the harshest critics of the WHO and its leader over the Covid-19 response.

Trump is pulling the United States out of the WHO, accusing it of being a “puppet” of China and of having managed its handling of the global pandemic.

The United States, which was already the hardest-hit country with 230,586 deaths, also recorded 776 new deaths on Saturday, the largest number in the world according to an AFP statement from official sources.

(AFP)