UN refugee chief tests positive for COVID-19 - Thewatchnews: Nigeria #1 Online Newspaper

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Wednesday, 7 October 2020

UN refugee chief tests positive for COVID-19

UN refugee chief tests positive for COVID-19



The UN refugee chief said Wednesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 after leading the first day of the agency’s main annual meeting in person. 

Filippo Grandi, who kicked off UNHCR’s week-long Executive Committee meeting in Geneva on Monday, told participants via video-link that he would need to continue following the event from home.

“I am engaging with UNHCR’s Executive Committee from home as I have to isolate after testing positive to #COVID19,” he said in a tweet.

“I only have mild symptoms and hope to recover soon,” he said, stressing with the help of emojis the importance of “washing hands”, “keeping distances” and “wearing masks”.

Grandi had addressed delegates from the podium in the UN Assembly Hall in Geneva on the first day of the event, but participated remotely on Tuesday.

Spokesman Andrej Mahecic told AFP that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had tested positive Tuesday evening.

“He felt mild flu-like symptoms in the morning and, according to protocol he got tested in the morning and continued to work online, so virtually from home as he was chairing … the 71st session of the UNHCR Executive Committee,” he said.

Mahecic said that as soon as he received his test result, Grandi had “immediately” informed the seven people he had been in close proximity to — defined as closer than 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) — during Monday’s session. “

All of them are now self-isolating in quarantine for 14 days, and obviously they are monitoring their symptoms,” he said, adding that “so far, none of them have developed any symptoms”.

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