British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at his Downing Street residence but said he would still lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak.
Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms on Thursday – a day after he answered at the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session in parliament’s House of Commons chamber.
“I’ve taken a test. That has come out positive,” Johnson said on Friday in a video statement broadcast on Twitter. “I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s to say – a temperature and a persistent cough.
“So I am working from home. I’m self-isolating,” Johnson said. “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 chaired a government meeting on the coronavirus on Friday morning via video conference.
It was not immediately clear how many Downing Street staff and senior ministers would now need to isolate themselves given that many have had contact with Johnson over recent days and weeks.
His finance minister, Rishi Sunak, is not self-isolating, a Treasury source said.
Britons paid tribute to health workers on Thursday evening, clapping and cheering from doorways and windows. Johnson and Sunak took part, but came out of separate entrances on Downing Street and did not come into close contact, according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.