WHO chief Tedros in quarantine after contact gets COVID-19

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says he will enter self-quarantine and work from home after a contact of his tests positive.

The 55-year-old former Ethiopian foreign minister has been at the forefront of the United Nations health agency's efforts to battle the pandemic [File: Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via Reuters]

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has said that he is self-quarantining after someone he was in contact with tested positive for COVID-19.

In a tweet late on Sunday, he added that he was symptom-free and feeling well.

“I have been identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for #COVID19. I am well and without symptoms but will self-quarantine over the coming days, in line with @WHO protocols, and work from home,” Tedros said.

The 55-year-old former Ethiopian foreign minister has been at the forefront of the United Nations health agency’s efforts to battle the pandemic.

COVID-19 has claimed nearly 1.2 million lives and infected more than 46 million people worldwide since it was first detected in China late last year.

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,” he added.

The WHO urges all individuals to be careful about hand-washing, wearing masks and keeping a distance and calls on authorities to find, isolate, test and care for people with COVID-19, then trace and quarantine their contacts.

Tedros’s comments came as several European nations, including Switzerland, where the WHO has its headquarters, wound back the clocks to the spring with fresh lockdowns and restrictions aimed at halting soaring cases and deaths.

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

Authorities in the region of some 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.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies