US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are now in quarantine.
The president, aged 74 and therefore in a high-risk group, announced the news in a tweet. “We will get through this together,” he wrote.
It comes after one of his closest aides tested positive for coronavirus.
Hope Hicks, the 31-year-old adviser to the president, was the closest aide to Mr Trump to test positive so far.
She travelled with him on Air Force One to the first presidential TV debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden in Ohio on Tuesday. Some of Mr Trump’s family members who attended the debate were seen not wearing masks.
Mr Trump has mostly spurned mask-wearing and has often been pictured not socially distanced with aides or others during official engagements.
Mr Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, released a statement, saying the president and the first lady were “both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence”.
“Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” the statement said.
According to Mr Trump’s most recent physical examination earlier this year, he weighed 244lb (110.7kg). This is considered to be obese for his height of 1.9m (6.3ft).
But Dr Conley stated at the time that the president “remains healthy”. Mr Trump will also have the best medical care available.
America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a person must go in quarantine for 10 days after a positive test.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump said he and his wife, who is 50, were going into quarantine after Ms Hicks’s positive test.
He tweeted: “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible!
“The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”
It is not clear how Mr Trump’s positive test will affect arrangements for the second presidential debate, which is scheduled for 15 October in Miami, Florida.
Mr Trump is not the first world leader to have tested positive. Earlier this year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro were infected. They both have since recovered, although Mr Johnson had to receive regular oxygen treatment to help his breathing during hospitalisation.
(REPORTED BY BBC)