WHO says two staff members confirmed with Wuhan coronavirus

WHO implements work-from-home policy for employees to prevent spread of coronavirus

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday (March 17) confirmed its first two cases of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the organization's spokesman Christian Lindmeier, two staff members from the WHO have tested positive for the virus after displaying symptoms. He said the two individuals reported discomfort only after they had left the office.

Lindmeier pointed out that the WHO has instructed approximately 2,400 employees at the health agency's headquarters to start working from home to minimize the chance of transmission clusters. According to Reuters, it is not clear whether the two employees infected were on the coronavirus response team.

As of Wednesday morning (March 18), there have been more than 198,000 COVID-19 cases reported worldwide, including 7,970 deaths. The WHO has been widely criticized by the international community for its delayed response and its resistance to declaring the outbreak a global pandemic.