World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that he would be self-quarantining over the coming days after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Per a series of tweets made Sunday evening, Tedros wrote that while he was well and not showing any symptoms, he was planning to isolate himself in line with the WHO’s own protocols—and that taking these sorts of precautions is key to quashing the pandemic.
“It is critically important that we all comply with health guidance,” he said. “This is how we will break chains of #COVID19 transmission, suppress the virus, and protect health systems.”
The WHO would not provide details as to which individual Tedros came into contact with or when the contact occurred. The agency’s statement to Gizmodo largely restated what was already in its director’s tweet, but added that “Dr Tedros has sent an email to staff informing them of the matter and reminding us all that we must comply with health guidance to break the chains of transmission, control the virus and protect our health systems.”
It’s worth noting here that Geneva—where the WHO is based—is currently being clobbered with record-breaking numbers of covid cases, with Swiss public health officials reporting last week that labs in the region were confirming upwards of nine thousand cases per day. Meanwhile, things are looking equally grim here in the US, which reported record its own record breaking totals that same week, at more than 99,000 cases per day.
Throughout the pandemic, the WHO—which is an agency within the United Nations—has pushed for a unified, science-informed global response to covid-19; unsurprisingly, the Trump administration announced it would withdraw the U.S. from the WHO over the summer, a change that if Trump is reelected, will take place this coming July.