Filipino diplomat in UN headquarters in New York tests positive of COVID-19

United Nations logo. Photo: Wikipedia
United Nations logo. Photo: Wikipedia

A Filipino diplomat assigned to the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters in New York has tested positive for COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin confirmed today.

In a tweet, Locsin said he spoke with acting U.N. Ambassador Kira Azucena, who told him that the patient “is doing well; she’s young, spritely, smart and taking some doctor prescribed meds.”

Read: Government greenlights COVID-19 testing kits developed by Filipino scientists

Azucena said in a message to Reuters that the Philippine mission to the U.N. is currently on lockdown.

“[A]ll personnel are instructed to self-quarantine and to seek medical attention should they develop the symptoms. We are assuming that all of us have been infected,” she said.

The Philippine mission, which has 12 diplomats, has an office in Midtown Manhattan. The infected diplomat represented the Philippines in the General Assembly’s legal affairs committee, and last showed up at the UN’s headquarters on Monday. She displayed flu-like symptoms a day later, and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, making her the first U.N. diplomat to become infected by the virus.

As of today, there have been at least 1,600 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and 41 deaths.

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