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Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Says She 'Likely' Had New Coronavirus

Greta Thunberg Said The Symptoms Emerged After She Returned From A Trip Around Central Europe, And That She And Her Father Had Isolated Themselves As A Precaution.

Agencies | Updated on: 25 Mar 2020, 08:37:54 AM
Greta Thunberg file photo

Greta Thunberg warned that others, especially young people, only experiencing mild symptoms might not know "they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups." (Photo Credit: File Photo)


Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said Tuesday that it was "extremely likely" that she had contracted the new coronavirus, after experiencing several symptoms following a trip to central Europe. "Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms... I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed," the teenage climate champion said in an Instagram post. Thunberg said the symptoms emerged after she returned from a trip around central Europe, and that she and her father had isolated themselves as a precaution. As of Tuesday, Sweden had reported 2,272 confirmed cases, but only those with severe symptoms in need of hospital care and staff working with at risk groups are tested. Therefore, Thunberg said she had not been tested, but said "it's extremely likely" that she had it, "given the combined symptoms and circumstances."

The 17-year-old also said she had now "basically recovered," but cautioned others, saying she "almost didn't feel ill." She warned that others, especially young people, only experiencing mild symptoms might not know "they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups." "We who don't belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others," she said. In early March, Thunberg, who spearheaded the "school strike for climate" movement, called for a digital protest so as to avoid large gatherings that could exacerbate the spread of the new coronavirus. She had invited activists to post photos of themselves with the word #ClimateStrikeOnline every Friday instead of attending demonstrations in the streets.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged leaders of the world's 20 major industrialized nations on Tuesday to adopt a wartime plan including a stimulus package in the trillions of dollars for businesses, workers and households in developing countries trying to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. He said in a letter to the Group of 20 leaders that they account for 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product and have a direct interest and critical role to play in helping developing countries cope with the crisis. Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world, the U.N. chief said. We must create the conditions and mobilize the resources necessary to ensure that developing countries have equal opportunities to respond to this crisis in their communities and economies.

Guterres warned: Anything short of this commitment would lead to a pandemic of apocalyptic proportions affecting us all. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said G20 leaders are expected to hold a virtual meeting Thursday. Guterres, who will participate in the meeting, said a coordinated stimulus package in the trillions of dollars would include scaling up cash transfer measures, social protection, tax abatement, fiscal stimulus, low interest rates, access to credit, insurance and wage support schemes. The secretary-general stressed that these expansionary policies must be accompanied by a clear repudiation of protectionism. I urge G-20 leaders to commit to ban tariffs, quotas or non-tariff measures, and remove restrictions on cross-border trade that affect the deployment of medical equipment, medicines and other essential goods to fight the epidemic, Guterres said. He also encouraged countries to waive sanctions to allow delivery of food, health supplies, medical equipment and support for the COVID-19 crisis, saying: This is the time for solidarity not exclusion.

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First Published : 25 Mar 2020, 08:37:14 AM

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