WHO chief self-quarantining after contact with person who tested positive for coronavirus

The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced late Sunday he was self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

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

The announcement comes as the coronavirus has totaled at least 46,426,677 worldwide cases and more than 1,199,684 deaths, as of Sunday night, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 24, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)

Tedros is currently in Geneva, which is home to WHO headquarters, according to his Twitter bio. On Sunday, the city announced a partial lockdown, following an outbreak of cases and hospitalizations due to the virus.

“On November 1, 474 people are being treated by the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), including 56 in intensive care beds (intensive and intermediate care). As a reminder, in mid-October, the HUG had 78 hospitalizations, including 13 in intensive care beds,” a statement by the cantonal government said.

“The figures show that the situation is severely worsening. Over the past few days, more than 1,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus on a daily basis,” the statement continued.

According to WHO guidelines cited by Tedros, the agency “recommends that all contacts of individuals with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 be quarantined in a designated facility or at home for 14 days from their last exposure.”

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On Sunday, he wrote that it was “critically important that we all comply with health guidance.”

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“This is how we will break chains of #COVID19 transmission, suppress the virus, and protect health systems,” Tedros added. “My @WHO colleagues and I will continue to engage with partners in solidarity to save lives and protect the vulnerable. Together!”

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