British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced early Friday that he had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and was self-isolating in his home on 10 Downing Street, Sky News reported.
Johnson tweeted about his diagnosis and said he would still lead the British government’s coronavirus response through videoconference.
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
Johnson, 55, has been in contact with various government officials and with his pregnant partner Carrie Symonds in the days prior to his diagnosis, Sky News reported.
The PM’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings reportedly ran out of his Downing Street residence after hearing the diagnosis. Johnson has not seen the Queen in person since March 11, which puts her outside the exposure window.
Several people in his administration will be tested.
If Johnson gets sick enough that he can’t continue his duties effectively, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will stand in for him, but that has not been necessary at this time, Sky news said.
“Nobody is immune”
“This sadly shows nobody is immune,” Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader said as he wished Johnson a speedy recovery. “Everybody must follow the advise on social distancing, non-essential work must not take place. We need to take all measures to isolate if need be.”
Johnson’s health minister Nadine Dorries tested positive for the virus earlier in the month, Sky News said. She has since recovered and is back at work.
Britain now has 11,800 cases of coronavirus nationwide, and has had 578 deaths from the disease, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A prominent scientist who had predicted 500,000 deaths in the UK from the virus now says he thinks the number will be more like 20,000 at most.