Factbox-Coronavirus stalks the corridors of power


Switzerland (Reuters) – COVID-19 has infiltrated several seats of power. Below are some of the leaders who have tested positive for COVID-19 and how each administration dealt with it:

President Emmanuel Macron tested positive on Thursday. His office said he had been tested after developing symptoms and would isolate for the next seven days and continue to run the country remotely.

A spokeswoman said all his trips had been cancelled and his wife Brigitte was also self-isolating. The Spanish and Portuguese prime ministers also decided to self-isolate after attending a lunch with Macron this week.

The French presidency said Macron and his team were trying to assess where he could have contracted the virus.

United States

President Donald Trump, 74, said on Oct. 2 he had tested positive, a month before the U.S. presidential election which he went on to lose to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump, who had consistently disregarded guidance from health authorities urging people to wear protective masks in close company, was later admitted to hospital for treatment.

He left hospital on Oct. 6 and returned by helicopter to the White House, where he removed his face mask as he stood on a balcony and gave the thumbs up. Critics said that under U.S. public health guidelines he should have remained in isolation for up to 10 days after the symptoms first appeared.

Trump, whose wife Melania also tested positive, had mocked Biden for wearing a face mask. In April, the president had said he could not picture himself wearing a mask while greeting “presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens.”


President Jair Bolsonaro, 65, tested positive in July, when he developed a fever. The right-wing populist had played down the severity of the pandemic and called COVID-19 a “little flu”.

Appearing in public less than two weeks later, Bolsonaro said he was feeling well, despite the virus, and credited his health to the use of hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, despite no scientific evidence.

Bolsonaro said last month he would not take a coronavirus vaccine and joked on Twitter in October that vaccination would be required only for his dog.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent two weeks recovering from a bout of COVID-19 at Chequers, his country residence, before returning to Downing Street on April 26.

Johnson, 56, had previously spent three nights in intensive care in a London hospital with the illness. Leaving St Thomas’ hospital on April 12, he thanked staff for saving his life.

In November, Johnson again self-isolated after coming into contact with someone who tested positive, and worked from his Downing Street residence in London. He took another COVID-19 test at this time which came up negative.


President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 74, made his first appearance on Dec. 13 since he was flown to a hospital in Germany 47 days earlier after testing positive. In a video on Twitter and a broadcast on state television, his features were haggard but he said he was recovering and would be back home soon.


President Alexander Lukashenko said in July he had contracted COVID-19 and recovered “on his feet” without showing any symptoms. Lukashenko, who is now 66, had said in April that nobody would die from COVID-19 and variously suggested drinking vodka, going to saunas and driving tractors to fight the virus.

Opponents say Lukashenko’s handling of the pandemic has been reckless and shown he is out of touch. He has faced street protests since an Aug. 9 presidential election which the opposition says was rigged. He denies electoral fraud.


President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is now 52, tested positive in June. He left hospital in July after undergoing treatment for pneumonia.


Bolivian President Jeanine Anez, 53, tested positive in July. She said she was “well” and worked in isolation for 14 days. Several government officials have also tested positive in Bolivia, including the health minister.


President Alejandro Giammattei, 64, tested positive in September and said he was a “high-risk” patient because of pre-existing medical conditions and a history of heavy smoking. Giammattei, who walks on crutches after suffering sclerosis in his youth, self isolated and worked from home.


Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, 54, tested positive in April and continued working in self-isolation.


Prince Albert, 62, tested positive in March but continued to work from his office in his private apartments.


Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Chicu, 48, tested positive this month, an aide said on Dec. 8. Chicu ran the country remotely while self-isolating.


Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, 50, was already in self-isolation when the government said on Nov. 30 that he had tested positive, because his wife had already contracted COVID-19. A spokesman said the premier would remain at home for 10 more days but carry on working while self-isolating.


Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, 61, tested positive in October and continued working from home while in self-isolation.


Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, 45, said on June 1 he had tested positive though he had no symptoms, and a week later said he and his family had recovered.

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