Hundreds of people have been ordered to self-quarantine after a priest of a prominent church in Washington DC was confirmed as the city's first Coronavirus patient. According to the reports, Reverend Timothy Cole of Christ Church Episcopal in Georgetown tested positive on March 9 and remains hospitalised after DC health officials announced on Monday that he was infected with flu-like illness.
The city officials are urging all the worshippers who visited the church either on 24 February or between 28 February and 3 March to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Reverend Crystal Hardin reportedly said that the church has cancelled all activities including church services until further notice.
The Washington officials reportedly said that several hundred people were impacted and had interactions with Reverand Cole which included giving communion and shaking hands. As per the international media reports, the priest had shook hands with more than 500 worshippers.
Meanwhile, despite having more than 600 confirmed cases in the United States, 2020 Presidential hopefuls Biden, Trump, and Sanders will continue their rallies as planned. According to public health experts, large scale rallies are breeding grounds for potentially deadly illnesses. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on March 8 claimed that his campaign was considering when it would be prudent to cancel large campaign rallies.
According to reports, Bernie Sanders claimed in a series of interviews that the most important thing is the protection of the health of the American people and that his campaign was in talks with public health officials from all over the nation. Sanders added that this was an issue that every organisation and every candidate had to face.
As per reports, federal health authorities have advised older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions to avoid crowded places because they are more at risk from the virus. Fear of the Coronavirus has already led to the cancellation of music and arts festivals and other events around the country.
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(with inputs from agencies)