COVID-19: World leaders that have tested positive


By Anayo Ezugwu

CORONAVIRUS knows no borders and continent. The virus is spreading across the world with more than 53,200 deaths and about 1,015,667 testing positive as at Thursday, April 2. Apart from its rapid spread, the virus has also made its way into the corridors of power, and scores of national and local politicians around the world have announced that they have contracted the virus.

In Britain, Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister. On March 27, announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first major world leader to contract the virus. In a video posted to Twitter, Johnson said he was tested after experiencing mild symptoms and would continue to lead the country’s response in the fight against the coronavirus, working from home in self-isolation.

Likewise, Prince Charles, the next in line to the British throne, has tested positive for the coronavirus and is now self-isolating with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who has tested negative in Scotland. It is unclear how he contracted the virus, because he attended a high number of engagements in recent weeks. According to reports in the UK, officials at the palace said that the last time he met with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was on March 12, and the earliest he could have contracted the virus was the day after.

Nadine Dorries, British health minister, became the first British minister to contract the coronavirus. A test later revealed that Dorries had passed on the virus to her 84-year-old mother.

In Iran, Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri contracted the virus as well as two cabinet members of Iranian Parliament tested positive for the virus.

Sophie Trudeau, wife of the Prime Minister of Canada, tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a large event in London. Her husband, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had self-isolated as a precaution although he has not exhibited the symptoms.

Davi Alcolumbre, the head of Brazil’s Senate, has also tested positive for coronavirus and has criticized the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro for his slow response to the pandemic. Bolsonaro has been slow to close public spaces and events, and he has accused the media of blowing the pandemic out of proportion, which has worried many in the country that the government will act too slowly to stop an outbreak.

Peter Dutton, Australian home affairs minister, was found to have the coronavirus after being admitted to a hospital. He had recently returned from Washington, where he met with Attorney General William Barr, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, and other White House officials.

Michel Barnier, European Union’s chief negotiator for Brexit, announced via video message from his home in France that he has the COVID-19 respiratory illness that the coronavirus has been known to cause. Barnier last met the British Brexit negotiator, David Frost, in the first week of March, when the two attempted to reach an agreement on British-EU cooperation on everything from trade to security.

The Palace of Monaco on March 19 announced that Prince Albert, the country’s reigning monarch, has tested positive for the coronavirus. In an address made the day before, the prince had announced total isolation in the country as an attempt to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

Begoña Gómez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, has tested positive for the coronavirus and is now quarantining with her husband in their residence in La Moncloa Palace in Madrid.

David Beasley, the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, announced on March 19, that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, five days after he began exhibiting symptoms and self-quarantined himself. He is now working to notify those he may have been in contact with and plans to continue to work remotely from his home in South Carolina while in self-isolation.

Back home in Nigeria, Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has been infected with the virus. He contacted the virus after attending meetings in Germany and Egypt.

– Apr. 3, 2020 @ 14:29 GMT |

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