UN Refugee Chief Tests Positive for COVID19

Geneva, Oct 7 (AFP/APP): The UN refugee chief said Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID19, 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 added.

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. UNHCR’s executive committee is for the first time being held as a hybrid event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only limited numbers of delegates are allowed to attend physically, and distancing restrictions and mask requirements are in place.

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