Covid-19: Global leaders and celebrities who contracted coronavirus


Last updated on October 3, 2020 at 10.3 am
More than 1 million people have died after contracting the novel coronavirus and over 33 million infected. Leading figures in politics, sport, royalty and entertainment are among them.
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19, he said in a tweet early on Friday. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” he said.
Hope Hicks, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, has tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing symptoms, a source familiar with the matter said on October 1. Hicks travels regularly with the president on Air Force One and accompanied him to Cleveland for the presidential debate earlier this week along with other senior aides.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi left hospital on September 14 after recovering from the coronavirus, saying he had survived "the most dangerous challenge" of his life. "I said to myself, with satisfaction, 'You have got away with it again'," a smiling Berlusconi told reporters at the gates of Milan's San Raffaele hospital, where he was admitted on Sept. 3, after testing positive for Covid-19. The 83-year-old media tycoon developed double pneumonia and was considered a high-risk patient because of his age and underlying health conditions, including heart problems.
Pranab Mukherjee died on Aug. 31 after a lung infection. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on Aug. 10 and had been in hospital since. He was 84.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's wife and one of his ministers have tested positive for Covid-19, according to an official statement on July 30. Just days after her husband said he had overcome the virus with a negative test following weeks in quarantine, Bolsonaro's wife Michelle has tested positive, the presidential office said in a statement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was placed briefly in intensive care to help his fight against a coronavirus infection in April. Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital, across the River Thames from parliament, late on April 5 after suffering symptoms including a fever and a cough for more than 10 days. His condition deteriorated, and he was moved on April 6 to an intensive care unit in case he needed to be put on a ventilator. Johnson spent a week in the hospital, including three nights in the intensive care unit.
Pro-wrestler turned Hollywood actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said in a video message posted on social media on September 2, that he, his wife and their two young children tested positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks but that they all have recovered and are healthy. Johnson said in the Instagram post that they caught the virus about 2-1/2 weeks ago from "very close family friends" whom he said had no idea how they had become infected. "I can tell you this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family, and for me personally," he said in the video. The actor said his family, like their friends who caught the virus first, had been "incredibly disciplined" about adhering to safety measures to avoid the virus.
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, 77, (R) and his son, Abhishek (L), entered hospital in Mumbai after testing positive July 11. Daughter-in-law and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (C) and his eight-year-old granddaughter also tested positive and were initially quarantined at home but also entered hospital on July 17. The Bachchans are the highest-profile Indians to have contracted the virus, which is spreading faster after a months-long lockdown was eased at the end of May to revive a battered economy.
World-record sprinter and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt tested positive for the coronavirus and was self-isolating at his home in Jamaica on August 24 after celebrating his 34th birthday with a big bash mask-free a week earlier. "Just to be safe I quarantined myself and just taking it easy," Bolt said. The sprinter said he did not have any symptoms of COVID-19. Bolt said he took the test the day after he celebrated his birthday at a bash where partygoers danced to the hit "Lockdown" by Jamaican reggae singer Koffee. "Best birthday ever," Bolt, who retired from athletics in 2017, wrote on Instagram, posting a photo of himself holding his daughter, Olympia, who was born in May.
Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus in March. Clarence House confirmed the royal's diagnosis, adding that the Prince of Wales displayed mild symptoms, but "otherwise remains in good health."
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, star of "The Mask of Zorro" and dozens of other films, announced on August 10, his 60th birthday, that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in quarantine. "I'd like to add that I'm feeling relatively well, just a bit more tired than usual, and confident that I will recover as soon as possible," he said in a birthday message on Twitter, adding that he had reached 60 "full of desire and aspirations." Banderas said he would use his time in quarantine to read, write, rest and make plans for the future.
Sophie Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tested positive for coronavirus on March 12. She had recently returned from London and experienced flu-like symptoms, the prime minister's office said. In a personal note, Sophie said she was "experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of the virus," adding that she "will be back on my feet soon."
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was hospitalized for pneumonia and given oxygen and medicine via intravenous drips after he tested positive for Covid-19 in June
Legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, who had been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 during the first week of August, passed away on September 25, after a long battle with health complications that arose following the coronavirus infection.
Canada's official opposition leader, Erin O'Toole, went into isolation on September 18 after a coronavirus test came back positive. His wife Rebecca also tested positive days later.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei revealed on September 18 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, just as the Central American country was easing draconian travel restrictions imposed months ago to contain infections. He said he had experienced body aches and a dry cough and that he was on a nebulizer to avoid pulmonary complications. He also said he was taking dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that was shown to benefit critically ill Covid-19 patients in Britain, according to the World Health Organization.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme had to leave the September cycling race mid-way through competition after testing positive for Covid-19. Prudhomme, who was replaced by interim Tour director Francois Lemarchand, did not show any symptoms.
Brazilian Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the eldest son of president Jair Bolsonaro, tested positive, according to a statement by Flavio's spokesman on August 25. Flavio has no symptoms of Covid-19 and is at home, it said, adding he has started taking chloroquine and azithromycin as part of a treatment against the virus. President Bolsonaro is a big supporter of chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria, despite the lack of solid evidence it works against the disease. Bolsonaro himself caught the virus earlier, as well as his wife Michelle Bolsonaro and his youngest son, Jair Renan.
Mexican Sergio Perez became the first Formula One driver to contract the coronavirus. Perez tested positive before the British Grand Prix after returning to Mexico to see his mother, who had been in hospital following an accident, but said he had taken every precaution. "I was well aware what was going on," he told reporters in a video conference. "I haven't done anything different to the rest of the paddock... I'm not willing to take any blame for that because anyone can get it, I was just the unlucky one," he added.
Actress Alyssa Milano said on Instagram she had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in August, months after beginning to show symptoms in March. "I had never been this kind of sick. Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks," she wrote. She also shared a video showing lingering side effects, such as hair loss.
Tennis player Frances Tiafoe contracted the coronavirus in July. The 22-year-old returned a positive test for the virus and was forced to withdraw from the All-American Team Cup exhibition tournament in Atlanta. "I'm cool. Obviously some of the other players had it pretty bad. Losing taste, losing smell. Physically when they were coming back they were struggling a lot," said Tiafoe. "Actually my virus was pretty mild, thankfully, me and my brother. My brother had no symptoms at all. I just had diarrhea and headaches for three days. So I was okay."
US national security adviser Robert O'Brien has become the highest ranking official in President Donald Trump's inner circle to test positive for the coronavirus. Announcing the infection on July 27, the White House said in a statement there was no risk of exposure to Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. The announcement caught some White House staff off guard, as there had not been an internal memo about it, one source said. O'Brien, who took over as national security adviser from John Bolton last September, had traveled to Paris in mid-July to represent the United States at Bastille Day ceremonies. He met French President Emmanuel Macron while there.
Mel Gibson tested positive for the coronavirus in April. The actor and director spent a week in a California hospital and has since recovered and tested negative, his representative told People Magazine.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the novel coronavirus on July 7, after coming down with a fever. He said he was already doing very well, crediting his use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine - unproven for treating coronavirus - for his mild symptoms.
Novak Djokovic, the men's world number one tennis player, tested positive for Covid-19 on June 23 and then apologized to all individuals who contracted the virus after playing in an exhibition tournament he organized in Serbia and Croatia. The tournament witnessed packed stands during the opening leg in Belgrade, players hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures and attending press conferences together. Djokovic, 33, organized nights out in Belgrade for the players and pictures and videos of him dancing with the other participants at his event were posted on social media. "I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone's health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days."
British actor Idris Elba said on March 16 he had tested positive, saying in a Twitter post that he had no symptoms but was isolating himself from others. His location was not known. Elba said he took the test after discovering he had been exposed to someone with the disease. "Stay positive. Don't freak out," Elba, 47, said in a video accompanying the Twitter post
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, both tested positive in Australia in March, the actor said on Twitter. He said he fell ill while working on a film. "Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We'll keep the world posted and updated," Hanks tweeted.
The European Union's chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, said on March 19 he had tested positive. "I would like to inform you that I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am doing well and in good spirits. I am following all the necessary instructions, as is my team," he said on Twitter.
Begona Gomez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, tested positive, the prime minister's office said on March 14, adding that both were doing fine.