3 min read.Updated: 27 Mar 2020, 06:14 PM ISTAgencies
While self-isolating for seven days, Johnson is still able to work in an office and study at No. 11 Downing Street
'You're a fighter and will overcome this challenge as well,' says Narendra Modi to Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus and is self isolating but will still lead the government's response to the outbreak.
"Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," Johnson said. "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus." However, British finance minister Rishi Sunak is not self-isolating after Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus, a source at the finance ministry said.
A Downing Street spokesman said Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms on Thursday - a day after he answered at the prime minister's weekly question-and-answer session in the chamber of the House of Commons.
"The prime minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty," the spokesman said.
"The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive," the spokesman said. Currently, three G7 leaders -- Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and now Boris Johnson -- are running their respective countries while being quarantined. "Dear Prime Minister Boris Johnson, you are a fighter and you will overcome this challenge as well. Prayers for your good health and best wishes in ensuring a healthy United Kingdom," said India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Johnson is still able to work in an office and study at No. 11 Downing Street, his spokesman said on Friday after the British leader announced he had contracted coronavirus and had mild symptoms.
He is self-isolating for seven days, the spokesman said.
"There was an 0930 meeting, which we call the COVID-19 meeting ... that went ahead. The PM played his role entirely via video conferencing," the spokesman said
"That's how it will continue while the PM is self-isolating. He will do the same things, but that will be done exclusively by teleconferencing on his part."
On a conference call with journalists, Johnson's spokesman said the prime minister was receiving meals left outside his door for him but would no longer appear in person at a daily news conference.
This is UK's second high profile coronavirus case in last three days. Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. He's said to be in good health and is now self isolating in Scotland with mild symptoms.
Charles, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth, is displaying what Clarence House said were mild symptoms but remains in good health and has been working from his Birkhall residence in Scotland. His wife, Camilla, 72, tested negative.
"The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus," Clarence House said. "He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual."
"The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus," Clarence House said. Queen Elizabeth who is currently at Windsor Castle is in good health, Buckingham Palace said.
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.
On Thursday, another 115 people have died in the United Kingdom after testing positive for coronavirus.
The number of confirmed cases rose to 11,658 on Thursday from 9,529 on Wednesday, the health ministry said on day three of a nationwide lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britain was slower than some of its European neighbours to tighten social distancing measures, with Johnson waiting until Monday night to tell pubs and restaurants to close and people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
The number of cases and deaths in Britain is lower than in Italy, Spain and France, but health officials and scientists have been warning that the peak of the epidemic lies several weeks ahead.
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