COVID: Which political figures have tested positive?

Ireland’s agriculture minister has become the latest leading politician to contract the novel coronavirus.

Left to right, top to bottom: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince Albert II of Monaco; US President Donald Trump; French President Emmanuel Macron; Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro; the UK's Prince Charles [AFP]

Irish Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s government has announced.

The government said in a statement on Wednesday that all cabinet members were restricting their movements as they awaited COVID tests following the confirmed infection.

McConalogue is showing no symptoms and is self-isolating in line with public health guidelines, a spokesman for the minister added.

He has become the latest addition to a growing list of world leaders and politicians who have contracted the novel coronavirus since the pandemic erupted.

The virus has now spread to every continent on earth, with the worldwide death toll standing at more than 1.7 million people. More than 78 million cases have been recorded globally since the outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

Here is a list of world leaders who have tested positive:

Emmanuel Macron: The French president tested positive for COVID-19 on December 17.

The 43-year-old’s health has since shown signs of improvement, his office said on Wednesday, as he continues to self-isolate at Versailles, on the outskirts of the French capital, Paris.

Macron has said that although he will be working at a slower pace as he recovers, he will continue to tackle top-priority issues such as France’s response to the pandemic and Brexit.

Milorad Dodik: The Serb chairman of Bosnia’s three-man inter-ethnic presidency, Dodik tested positive for COVID-19 after he had been hospitalised over nausea and stomach pains, the Banja Luka University Clinical Centre said on Tuesday.

“He has been diagnosed with pneumonia … and tested positive to the new coronavirus,” the clinic said in a statement.

Dodik’s condition was stable and doctors were monitoring him closely, the clinic’s statement added.

The 61-year-old leader was originally hospitalised on December 20. His aides said he had been self-isolating following a meeting with a person infected with COVID-19 four days earlier.

Donald and Melania Trump: The US president said on Twitter on October 2 that and he and the first lady contracted the virus and were in quarantine.

For months, Trump was accused of downplaying the virus that has killed more than 300,000 Americans.

At 74, the US president was the oldest head of state to become infected with the virus to date, and his age put him at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19. Trump was hospitalised for three days, and after staging a dramatic return to the White House, he continued to minimise the severity of the virus.

Boris Johnson: The 55-year-old prime minister of the United Kingdom said on March 27 that he tested positive for coronavirus and was self-isolating.

He was hospitalised on April 5 in what his office described as a “precautionary step”. Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit on April 6 after his symptoms worsened. He later expressed his gratitude to National Health Service staff  for saving his life when his condition could have “gone either way”.

Jair Bolsonaro: The Brazilian president announced his illness in July and used it to publicly extol hydroxychloroquine, the unproven malaria drug that he had been promoting as a treatment for COVID-19 and was taking himself.

For months he had flirted with the virus, calling it a “little flu”, as he flouted social distancing at lively demonstrations and encouraged crowds during outings from the presidential residence, often without a mask.

Riek Machar: South Sudan’s vice president and his wife Angelina Teny, who serves as defence minister, tested positive for the coronavirus on May 18.

South Sudan''s Vice President Riek Machar addresses a news conference in JubaSouth Sudan”s Vice President Riek Machar [File: Samir Bol/Reuters]

Alexander Lukashenko: The president of Belarus, who dismissed concerns about the virus as “psychosis” and recommended drinking vodka to stay healthy, said in July he had contracted it himself but was asymptomatic.

Belarus is one of the few countries that took no comprehensive measures against the virus.

Juan Orlando Hernandez: The Honduras president announced in June that he had tested positive, along with two other people who worked closely with him.

Hernandez said he had started what he called the “MAIZ treatment,” an experimental and unproven combination of microdacyn, azithromycin, ivermectin and zinc. He was briefly hospitalised and released.

He has added his voice to growing pleas for equitable access to any COVID-19 vaccine, asking the recent UN gathering of world leaders, “Are people to be left to die?”

Prince Charles: The prince of Wales and heir to the British throne tested positive for the coronavirus on March 25.

Prince Albert: Monaco’s Prince Albert II tested positive for the novel coronavirus in March.

Silvio Berlusconi: Italy’s former prime minister tested positive for COVID-19 on September 2 along with two of his children.

THe UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Question Period at the House of Commons in London, UK December 9, 2020 [File: Jessica Taylor/Handout/Reuters]

Ali Larijani: Iran’s parliament said on April 2 its speaker tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mikhail Mishustin: Russia’s prime minister on April 30 said in a video meeting with President Vladimir Putin that he tested positive for coronavirus and will self-isolate to protect other cabinet members.

Nikol Pashinyan: The Armenian prime minister revealed on June 1 that he and his family has tested positive for the virus.

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau: On March 12, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tested positive for COVID-19 following a trip to the UK.

Ambrose Dlamini: The prime minister of eSwatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, died in a South African hospital on December 14, the only sitting leader to have passed from COVID-19.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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