Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, he confirmed today, as he urged Brits to stay home to combat the UK outbreak.
Johnson revealed his coronavirus diagnosis on Twitter, where he said he has experienced “mild” symptoms since yesterday.
“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” Johnson tweeted.
“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, whose partner Carrie Symonds is pregnant, said he would be self-isolating but would continue to lead the UK’s fight against Covid-19.
The PM said in a brief two-minute video:
“I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronaviurus, that’s to say a temperature and a persistent cough. And on the advice of chief medical officer I’ve taken the test. That has come out positive so i am working form home, I’m self-isolating.
“And that’s 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 fightback against coronavirus.”
Johnson continued: “I want to thank everybody who’s involved, of course above all our amazing NHS staff. It was very moving last night to join in with that national clap for the NHS. It’s not just our NHS, it’s our police, our social care workers, teachers, everybody who works in schools.
Boris Johnson will continue to lead coronavirus response
Our Department for Work and Pensions staff, [it’s been] an amazing national effort by our public services. But also by every member of the British public who’s volunteering, an incredible response.
“I want to thank everybody who’s working to keep our country going through this epidemic. We will get through it and the way we’re going to get through it is of course by applying the measures that you’ll have heard so much about. The more effectively we all comply with those measures the faster our country will come through this epidemic and the faster we’ll bounce back.”
Earlier this week the government said foreign secretary Dominic Raab would take over from Johnson if Johnson caught coronavirus.
“The Prime Minister has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers but, for now, it’s the prime minister and then the foreign secretary,” a spokesperson said.
Downing Street said today it was not yet clear whether Boris Johnson would lead the daily UK coronavirus press conference.
A spokeswoman said those Johnson has come into contact with will follow Public Health England guidelines. That means they will self-isolate if they experience coronavirus symptoms.
Fire brigade to help tackle coronavirus
Earlier today the London Fire Brigade agreed to help emergency services if the coronavirus outbreak worsens.
Over the next two months they will deliver food to the vulnerable and drive ambulances. They will also recover dead bodies if the UK coronavirus crisis worsens.
Currently UK coronavirus cases have hit 11,816 and 580 people have died.
Yesterday the British public led a UK-wide round of applause for the NHS in thanks for the organisation’s coronavirus response.
Almost 600,000 people have volunteered to help the NHS tackle the coronavirus crisis.
And the UK government has ordered thousands of ventilators to help the worst coronavirus patients survive.