WHO chief in quarantine after contact tests positive for COVID-19

WHO chief in quarantine after contact tests positive for COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news co
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

GENEVA: The World Health Organization chief said late on Sunday (Nov 1) that he was self-quarantining 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 of someone who has tested positive for #COVID19," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet.

"I am well and without symptoms but will self-quarantine over the coming days, in line with @WHO protocols, and work from home," he added.

"SUPPRESS THE VIRUS"

Tedros stressed on Twitter that "it is critically important that we all comply with health guidance".

"This is how we will break chains of #COVID19 transmission, suppress the virus, and protect health systems."

READ: Europe's COVID-19 cases double in 5 weeks, total infections surpass 10 million

READ: France grapples with COVID-19 lockdown backlash from small shops

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

The WHO urges all individuals to be careful about hand-washing, wearing masks and keeping a distance, while it calls on authorities at various levels to work to find, isolate, test and care for cases, then trace and quarantine their contacts.

His comments came as there is growing anger and exasperation over new coronavirus curbs as several European nations wound back the clocks to the spring with fresh lockdowns and restrictions aimed at halting galloping infections and deaths.

Europe's new COVID-19 cases have doubled in five weeks, propelling the region on Sunday across the bleak milestone of 10 million total infections, according to a Reuters tally. 

Just last month, both Latin America and Asia reported more than 10 million total cases in their regions. The United States alone has more than 9 million cases with a rapidly accelerating outbreak

While Europe took almost nine months to record its first 5 million COVID-19 cases, the next 5 million cases were reported in slightly more than a month, according to a Reuters analysis.

Governments across Europe have been under fire for a lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defences, leaving hospitals unprepared.

Geneva, where WHO is headquartered, declared a fresh state of emergency on Sunday and said it would go beyond Swiss national measures and shut down all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops.

Authorities in the region of 500,000 people said the new measures were needed due to surging cases - with more than 1,000 positive daily tests in recent days - and also ballooning numbers of COVID-19 patients in Geneva hospitals and emergency care units.

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Source: AFP/Reuters(hs)

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