WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus isolating after Covid-19 contact

The director-general of the World Health Organisation has said he is isolating after being identified as a contact of someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “well and without symptoms” but would still self-quarantine “over the coming days, in line with WHO protocols” and would work from home.

“It is critically important that we all comply with health guidance. This is how we will break chains of Covid-19 transmission, suppress the virus, and protect health systems,” the 55-year-old wrote on Twitter.

“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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The Eritrean, who is a graduate of the University of London and the University of Nottingham, is the first non-physician and the first African to become chief of the WHO.

Last month he criticised world leaders who have undermined scientists during the pandemic.

He said: “Where there has been political division at the national level, where there has been blatant disrespect for science and health professionals, confusion has spread and Covid-19 cases and deaths have mounted.

“A pandemic is not a political football. Wishful thinking or deliberate diversion will not prevent transmissions or save lives.

“What will save lives is science, solutions and solidarity.”