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Updated on Mar 28, 2020. Posted on Mar 27, 2020

Boris Johnson Has Tested Positive For The Coronavirus

Health secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive and chief medical officer Chris Whitty is self-isolating after experiencing symptoms.

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus after developing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is now self-isolating in Downing Street.

"After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the prime minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty," a Number 10 spokesperson said in a statement on Friday morning.

"The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive. In keeping with the guidance, the prime minister is self-isolating in Downing Street. He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus."

Following the prime minister's announcement, the UK's health secretary Matt Hancock said that he had also tested positive for COVID-19. Hancock said his own symptoms were "very mild" and that he was able to continue working from home while he self-isolates.

England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty — who has appeared alongside Johnson at news conferences in recent weeks — said he was also experiencing symptoms and was self-isolating.

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. #StayHomeSaveLives

In a video posted on his Twitter account, Johnson said: "I've developed mild symptoms of coronavirus, that is a temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the chief medical officer I've taken a test. That has come out positive, so I am working from 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.

"And I want to thank everybody who's involved, I want to thank of course above all our amazing NHS staff," he said.

"We will get through it, and the way we're going to get through it is by applying the measures we've heard so much about.

"Thank you to everybody who's 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. We're going to beat it and we're going to beat it together."

Speaking to journalists on Friday morning, the prime minister's official spokesperson said that Johnson noticed he had mild symptoms on Thursday afternoon.

He was then tested in Number 10 and got the results around midnight that evening.

Johnson has been in self-isolation in the flat and he will remain there for seven days.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement that the Queen last saw the prime minister on March 11 and that she is "in good health".


Alex Wickham is a senior reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alex Wickham at alex.wickham@buzzfeed.com.

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