Five senior United States Republicans have put them selves in self-quarantine after contracting with a person who tested positive for Covid-19. The members of the Congress include Senator Ted Cruz from Texas who shook hands with an infected individual at an event. President Donald Trump who also present at the conference attended by Ted Cruz, maintains that he is in good health and has not taken a test as of yet. One Democrat has also reportedly self-isolated after she saw someone with virus. There are no more than 700 confirmed cases of the novel disease in United States while 26 have died after the spread.
Apart form Cruz, other Republicans in self-quarantine include Paul Gosar who represents Arizona in Congress, Doug Collins, Representative Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz. All will serve a 14-day recommended quarantine before returning to public. The Republicans could have virus in them after contacting someone with the virus at conservative political conference at the end of February.
Mark Meadows whom Trump has recently appointed as chief of staff is also in quarantine after contacting the same person. According to reports, Meadows has undergone a test which showed negative and has not shown any symptoms after or before the precautionary test.
President Donald Trump and VP Mike Pence have attended the same conservative conference in Maryland but neither of them contacted the individual however, Mr. Trump did have a shake hand with the conference chairman who happened to be in contact with the positive patient.
On Monday, White House administration confirmed that Mr. Trump had not caught the virus. “He has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed Covid-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms,” a spokesman reported.
“President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” she went on to add.
The WH announcement further warned about the surge in the number of cases. “There will be more cases,” Mr. Pence told reporters. “But we simply ask today for the American people to engage in common sense practices.”
The VP, who also has not been tested for the virus told the reporters that the administration after a consultation with the congress will decide to provide paid sick leave to workers.
In separate remarks, President Trump expressed that his administration will take major steps to protect the economy from the epidemic. “We will be discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief,” he said.
Without providing any details, he told reporters that there will be a news conference on Tuesday.
“This blindsided the world, and I think we have handled it very, very well,” he said of the virus.
The president’s comments came after the stock markets across the world recorded serious losses on Monday which was the worst day for the markets since 2008 financial crisis.
People infected with the virus have been registered in 34 states including Washington DC with 738 confirmed cases and 26 deaths. Meanwhile passengers on the Grand Princess in California have started to disembark after being kept off the coast of San Francisco for 5 days. 19 crew members and 2 passengers aboard cruise liner have been tested positive for Covid-19.
Most of the passengers are expected to be shifted to military bases or in cases of emergency to the nearby hospitals. Several hundred foreign inmates of the ship including 140 Britons will be repatriated to their homelands. The crew members on board will remain on the deck quarantined and would not disembark anywhere to get the vessel out of Oakland. The ship caught the attention when a 71-year-old passenger of it died of the novel virus.
Elsewhere in Canada, 76 confirmed cases have been recorded with one confirmed death in North Vancouver. Most of the people infected with the virus were traced in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Canadian authorities have advised against the cruise ship voyages after the Canadian passengers of the disease-stricken Diamond Princess were released from quarantine last week.
Italy now has highest number of confirmed Covid-19 patients outside mainland China, the epicenter of the deadly outbreak. The country has just surpassed South Korea (7,313) with 7,375 cases.