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Two COVID-19 cases at World Health HQ

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This handout picture made available by World Health Organization (WHO) shows WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (L) speaking next to WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove during a virtual press briefing on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) virus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 16, 2020. – The head of the World Health Organization called for every suspected coronavirus case to be tested, as countries across Europe tightened their lockdowns and global stock markets tumbled again. “You cannot fight a fire while blindfolded,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists. “Test, test, test. Test every suspected case.” (Photo by Christopher Black / World Health Organization / AFP) / 

Two cases of COVID-19 have been registered at the World Health Organization headquarters, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The WHO, based in the Swiss city of Geneva, is coordinating the international response to the new coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 180,000 people and killed more than 7,000 across 145 countries.

“We do have two staff confirmed with symptoms of COVID-19,” spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters at a virtual press conference.

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“This was last week, Friday and Thursday. They both have gone home. They have self-isolated. They showed symptoms.

“Colleagues in the office have been checked and we’re waiting for further information on those. Everything so far seems OK with them.

He said all but essential staff were working remotely.

The WHO has started doing only virtual press conferences to brief on developments with the pandemics, with journalists barred from attending in person.

Infections in Switzerland jumped on Sunday by nearly 1,000 cases in 24 hours to 2,200 and 14 deaths were recorded from the virus across the wealthy Alpine country.

And the Swiss government imposed emergency measures on Monday in a bid to stem the spread of the virus in the country, banning all gatherings, tightening borders and deploying the military.

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