“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. Together we will beat this,” Johnson said.
A Downing Street spokesperson said that the Prime Minister was tested after experiencing symptoms on Thursday “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,” the spokesperson said, referring to the country’s public healthcare system.
“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street,” the spokesperson said.
“He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.”
The confirmation comes just over a week after a top government adviser on the virus, Neil Ferguson, said he believed he had been infected and warned: “There is a lot of Covid-19 in Westminster.”
Ferguson had met with the Prime Minister, as well as Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance. It was not clear, however, where Johnson may have contracted the virus.
The infection also raises concerns over Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant.
This is a breaking story. More to follow.