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The head of the World Health Organization has gone into self-quarantine after someone he had been in contact with tested positive for Covid-19.
With Covid-19 again spreading rapidly across Europe, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is based in Geneva, made the announcement by Twitter late on Sunday night, but stressed he had no symptoms.
“I have been identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID19,” Tedros said in his 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.
Tedros has been at the forefront of the United Nations health agency’s efforts to battle the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of 1.2 million and infected more than 46 million people worldwide since emerging in China late last year, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
He 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.”
Authorities in Slovakia said 2.58 million people – nearly half of the country’s population – took Covid-19 swabs on Saturday as part of a two-day drive to contain the spread of infections without resorting to a lockdown.
In an experiment being closely watched by other countries, people were asked to volunteer for the tests but the government said it would impose a lockdown on those who did not participate, including a ban on going to work.
The worsening situation in Europe is bringing the prospect of renewed lockdowns and the weekend was marked by street protests against further restrictions on daily life.
In Spain, the prime minister Pedro Sánchez called for an end to “the violent and irrational behaviour” of a minority of people after demonstrations in cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga, Vitoria, Valencia, Santander and Burgos against the government’s decision to declare a six-month state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
There were also continued protests in Italy on Sunday, with demonstrators in Naples taking to the streets demanding “Give us back our work, give us back our dignity”, and calling the government “thieves of freedom”.
On Sunday night more than 300 people gathered in the centre of São Paulo, Brazil to protest state governor João Doria’s support for mandatory Covid-19 immunisation and testing the potential vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac. The country’s health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, who is ill with Covid-19, remained in hospital on Sunday night after having been discharged from a civilian facility earlier in the day.
Anti-science sentiment was also on display in the United States where supporters of president Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Florida on Sunday night began chanting “Fire Fauci”.
The hostility towards Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, comes after he angered the White House by warning that the coming winter would see the virus continue to spread. Two weeks ago, Trump called him an “idiot”.
Anti-lockdown protests have been more muted in the UK but Saturday’s announcement that England is going into a tough four-week lockdown from Thursday has angered MPs in Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative party.
He is expected to tell MPs in the House of Commons today that there was “no alternative” to the lockdown, which will see bars, restaurants and non-essential shops close until 2 December. But the mood among backbenchers was not helped by a suggestion from cabinet minister Michael Gove that the lockdown could last even longer, while the Times newspaper reported on Monday that the curbs could stay in place until next year as cases continue to rise by more than 25,000 a day.
Growing unease among rightwingers was manifested by an announcement by Nigel Farage that he was rebranding his Brexit party as an anti-lockdown Reform UK party.
It was reported on Sunday night that Prince Williams tested positive for the virus in April, but the news was not made public because the royal family “didn’t want to worry anyone”.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Global coronavirus report: WHO chief Tedros in isolation after contact with positive case | Coronavirus