Boris Johnson today dramatically announced he is suffering from coronavirus – but insisted he is still determined to lead the UK battle against the crisis. The Prime Minister said he had tested positive for the disease, after developing a cough and being advised by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty to get checked.
The 55-year-old insisted he has ‘mild’ symptoms’, and will be continuing to lead the national response over video-conference. However, the bombshell news underlines fears that the crisis is escalating. There will also be concerns that other senior ministers, senior figures such as Prof Whitty, and potentially Mr Johnson’s pregnant partner Carrie Symonds, might have been infected.
In a video, Mr Johnson said: ‘Hi folks I want to bring you up to speed on something that is happening today which is that I have developed mild symptoms of coronavirus, that is to say a temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
‘That has come out positive so I am working from home, I am self isolating. ‘That is entirely the right thing to do but be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fight back against coronavirus.’
Prince Charles was confirmed as infected with coronavirus earlier this week. Other world leaders such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau has tested positive. Downing Street has previously said that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will fill in if the PM is incapacitated, although there is little sign that he has stopped working.
A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
‘The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.
‘In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.
‘He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.’
London is regarded as the engine of the outbreak in the UK, and many at Westminster have been struck down with symptoms.Health minister Nadine Dorries was the first confirmed MP case, and has since recovered and returned to work.
The declared UK death toll rose by 113 to 578 yesterday – the steepest increase yet. Mr Johnson was outside No10 last night applauding NHS workers who are combating the virus, in a national show of appreciation.
Mr Johnson has not taken any of the regular government press conferences this week.
This Article First Published On DailyMail