Boris Johnson Tests Positive For Coronavirus
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus.
Sharing the news himself via a video posted to social media, Johnson said he developed mild symptoms including a temperature and a cough over the last 24 hours and was tested for the virus.
"I am working from home, self-isolating, and that's entirely the right thing to do," he said.
"But be in no doubt that, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, I'm able to communicate with my team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus."
"Thank you to everybody who is doing what I'm doing, working from home, to stop the spread of the virus from household to household. That's the way we're going to win."
It was not immediately clear how many Downing Street staff and senior ministers would now need to isolate given that many have had contact with Johnson over recent days and weeks.
Nor was it immediately clear whether Johnson's 32-year-old partner, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, had been tested.
Queen Elizabeth last saw Johnson on March 11 and she remains in good health, Buckingham Palace said on Friday.
"The queen last saw the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare," a palace spokesman said.
When Britain clapped health workers on Thursday evening, Johnson and his finance minister Rishi Sunak came out of separate entrances on Downing Street and did not come into close contact, according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.
Previously the government has said that Johnson had the option to delegate to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab if needed.
Earlier this week, Johnson placed the UK under lockdown for at least three weeks, with Britons only allowed to leave their house once a day for exercise, to shop for essential items such as food and medical supplies, to help care for someone or for essential work.
Bars and restaurants, as well as most stores, have also been shut and social events, including weddings, have been cancelled.
Following his announcement on Friday, Johnson also thanked the National Health Service for their work, as well as other emergency service workers, teachers and the many others on the frontline of the UK's response.
He said the British public had also made a "great national effort to protect people from the consequences of coronavirus" after more than 600,000 people offered to volunteer to help.
"We're going to beat it, and we're going to beat it together. Stay at home, protect the NHS [National Health Service] and save lives," the Prime Minister said.
Johnson's announcement of his positive coronavirus test comes just days after Prince Charles was also diagnosed with COVID-19. The Prince of Wales is understood to be in good condition and is recovering at home under isolation.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to Johnson's announcement on Twitter, saying he was "thinking of you and all our UK friends as we work together to get through this."
UK's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he wished Johnson a "speedy recovery".
"Coronavirus can and does affect anyone," Corbyn said.
"Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else."
So far, 578 people in the United Kingdom have died after testing positive for coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases has risen to 11,658.
The UK toll is the seventh worst in the world, after Italy, Spain, China, Iran, France and the United States, according to a Reuters tally.