Boris Johnson today announced he is suffering from coronavirus.
The Prime Minister said he had tested positive for the disease, after being advised by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty to get checked as the outbreak spreads across the country.
The 55-year-old insisted he has ‘mild’ symptoms’, and will be continuing to lead the national response over video-conference.
However, the bombshell news underlines fears that the crisis is escalating. There will also be concerns that other senior ministers, senior figures such as Prof Whitty, and potentially Mr Johnson’s pregnant partner Carrie Symonds, might have been infected.
In a video, Mr Johnson said: ‘Hi folks I want to bring you up to speed on something that is happening today which is that I have developed mild symptoms of coronavirus, that is to say a temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test.
‘That has come out positive so I am working from home, I am self isolating.
‘That is 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 fight back against coronavirus.’
Prince Charles was confirmed as infected with coronavirus earlier this week. Other world leaders such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau has tested positive.
Downing Street has previously said that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will fill in if the PM is incapacitated, although there is little sign that he has stopped working.