UK prime minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is suffering mild symptoms, the British government said on Friday. He is the first leader of a major Western country known to have contracted the virus.
Mr. Johnson, in a video posted to Twitter, said he had “a temperature and a persistent cough.”
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“I am working from home, I’m self-isolating — that is entirely the right thing to do,” he said. “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 fightback against coronavirus.”
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
The government said in a statement that the prime minister “was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Prof. Chris Whitty.”
The test was carried out by Britain’s National Health Service, it added, and the result was positive. In keeping with the guidance, the prime minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.
The government said Mr. Johnson would continue to lead the country’s response to the pandemic. But he did not appear at a daily news conference on Thursday, at which the chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, rolled out the latest plan to protect workers who have lost wages because of the lockdown of the country.