WHO chief enters quarantine after contact with person with COVID-19

The chief of the World Health Organization announced Sunday that he will enter self-quarantine after being in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

“I have been identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for #COVID19,” wrote Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Twitter.

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“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 in a Twitter thread.

The WHO director-general stressed the importance of continued coronavirus precautionary measures in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"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," he tweeted.

FILE - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, speaks at the 56th Munich Security Conference on Coronavirus. (Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)

His agency followed up on Monday with its own tweet apparently aimed to dispel misinformation about his decision, writing, “Contrary to some incorrect reports, @DrTedros hasn’t tested positive for #COVID19.”

But the agency suggested later that Tedros hadn't been tested at all — and wasn't required to undergo a test under its current protocols. Tedros and WHO didn't identify the contact who had tested positive.

Speaking at a regular WHO briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for the COVID-19 pandemic, said there had been no transmission of the virus at the agency's main site in Geneva — a city, like others across Europe, that has faced a spike in cases in recent days, prompting new lockdown measures by local authorities.

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The WHO director-general and his team have been at the forefront of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected at least 46.5 million people and led to more than 1.2 million deaths, according to a count of confirmed cases by Johns Hopkins University.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was reported in Los Angeles.