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Spanish opera star Placido Domingo tests positive for coronavirus

Spanish opera star Placido Domingo said Sunday he had tested positive for the new coronavirus, adding he and his family were "in good health".

Spanish opera star Placido Domingo tests positive for coronavirus
File photo of Placido Domingo performing during the dress rehearsal of "Spanish Night" at the 150th Choregie in Orange, , July 2019. Photo: AFP

“I feel it is my moral duty to announce to you that I have tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus,” the 79-year-old wrote on his Facebook page.    

“My family and I are all in self isolation for as long as it is deemed medically necessary. Currently we are all in good health but I experienced fever and cough symptoms therefore deciding to get tested and the result came back positive.”   

He encouraged his followers to wash their hands regularly, keep their distance from one another and follow the advice of experts before ending his statement with a word of encouragement.

“Together we can fight this virus and stop the current worldwide crisis, so we can hopefully return to our normal daily lives very soon,” he said.    

The Spanish icon, who won worldwide acclaim in the 1990s as one of the Three Tenors alongside Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, has since August been engulfed in a sexual harassment scandal.

He is accused of forcibly kissing, grabbing and fondling women over a period of more than 30 years.

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COVID-19

Did Sweden’s state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

For his supporters, it was well-deserved, for his detractors a case of failing upwards. But when Sweden's Public Health Agency announced this month that state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell was taking a job at the World Health Organisation, both sides assumed it was true.

Did Sweden's state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

Now, it seems, the job might not be there after all. 

At the start of this month, Sweden’s Public Health Agency announced that Anders Tegnell was resigning to take up a post coordinating vaccine work with the World Health Organisation in Geneva. 

“I’ve worked with vaccines for 30 years and have at the same time always been inspired by international issues,” Tegnell said in the release. “Now I will have the chance to contribute to this comprehensive international work.”

During the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tegnell shot immediately from obscurity into the spotlight, gaining such celebrity status in Sweden that one fan had his profile tattooed onto his arm.

Internationally he was hailed by lockdown sceptics for his reasoned arguments against overly restrictive measures to control the spread of the virus. 

His new WHO appointment was reported all over the world. 

But on Tuesday, the Svenska Daglabdet newspaper revealed that the job had not yet been awarded. A spokesperson for the WHO said at a press conference in Geneva that “there is some confusion”, and that “this is an internal question.” 

According to the newspaper, there is even “a certain level of irritation” behind the scenes at the WHO that Sweden acted too soon and dispatched Tegnell to a job that did not actually exist yet. 

“We have received an offer from Sweden, which is still under discussion,” the organisation’s press spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, told the newspaper. 

On Thursday, the Public Health Agency’s press chief Christer Janson conceded that there had been a mistake and that the negotiation had not been completed.  

“We believed it was done, but it wasn’t,” he told Expressen in an interview. “It’s been a much longer process to get this completed than we thought. There’s been a misunderstanding and we regret that.” 

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