How world leaders are living through Covid-19

Published April 4, 2020
A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he participates in a national  “clap for carers” to show thanks for the work of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country.—AFP
A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he participates in a national “clap for carers” to show thanks for the work of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country.—AFP

PARIS: World leaders in voluntary or enforced isolation have, like billions of people around the globe, been forced to change their lifestyles during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here is a snapshot:

Angela Merkel

The German chancellor on Friday emerged from 14-days quarantine in her Berlin home and returned to her offices where she will continue to run the country via video and audio conference.

She had gone into isolation after meeting a doctor who was infected, but was negative in a series of tests.

During the crisis she has been photographed in a supermarket, pushing a trolley containing four bottles of wine and a pack of toilet paper, something she had criticised some Germans for massively stockpiling.

Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Johnson has been confined to Downing Street since testing positive on March 27, after suffering mild symptoms.

He said on Friday he would continue his self-isolation as “alas, I still have one of the minor symptoms... a temperature”. His partner, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, has not been living with him during his isolation.

He has led a cabinet meeting by videoconference and has put self-filmed videos of himself on Twitter, seeking to “reassure” the nation that he is in “constant touch” with his ministers and the health authorities in the fight against the coronavirus.

Justin Trudeau

The Canadian Prime Minister has led his country from isolation in his official Rideau Cottage residence in Ottawa, since his wife Sophie Gregoire was diagnosed positive on March 12.

Every morning he goes onto the lawn to give a news conference, at which he announces the new measures adopted that day and gives news of his family. He has stressed that he has no symptoms and has cancelled all travel. Officially cured on March 28, his wife has since taken their three children to the prime minister’s summer residence.

Donald Trump

The US president, who has tested negative twice, has cancelled several campaign meetings across the country as he seeks re-election in November.

Except for a flying visit to a Virginia naval base, he has remained in Washi­ngton, mainly at the White House.

He hold a daily press conference, followed live by millions of television viewers. He also tweets and gives frequent interviews on Fox News.

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Putin is working remotely from his country residence at Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow. He is being tested regularly for the virus as are the people in his entourage and is fine so far, the Kremlin said.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2020

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