Minister Boris Johnson has coronavirus — what happens when a world leader tests
Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and will now be
in self-isolation as he leads the nation’s response to the pandemic.
The U.K. health
secretary Matt Hancock also tested positive on Friday, complicating the government’s
ongoing response to the crisis.
Johnson said he had
developed “mild symptoms” — an elevated temperature and a persistent cough —
and took a COVID-19 test on the advice of the U.K.’s chief medical officer.
Queen Elizabeth, who
last met Johnson on Mar.11 – more than two weeks ago – remains in good health,
Buckingham Palace confirmed. Her son Prince Charles tested positive earlier
The prime minister
said Friday that he is working from home and will be self-isolating following
his diagnosis — in line with his government’s advice to the public. Johnson is
expected to stay at his home above 11 Downing St. but insisted that will not
impact his ability to lead the country.
The pound GBPUSD,
-0.289% initially fell following the news but has recovered most of those
losses to trade 0.3% up for the day at $1.2239. The FTSE 100 UKX, -5.25% has
extended its losses since the Prime Minister’s diagnosis.
Just hours later the
U.K. health secretary Matt Hancock revealed he had also tested positive, with mild
symptoms, and would be working from home and self-isolating.
government-appointed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as the “designated
survivor” earlier this week, in the event Johnson were to become too ill to
Johnson, 55, will
have to isolate from his pregnant fiancée, Carrie Symonds. Pregnant women have
been advised to be “particularly stringent” in following social distancing
measures. The daily public briefing, in which Johnson has been flanked by
medical experts and cabinet ministers, will change and Johnson is not expected
to attend in the coming days.
self-isolate, living and working from No. 11 Downing Street, which has been
sealed off from No.10. Food will be left outside the door for the former Mayor
of London, the BBC reported.
Reuters reported via
Treasury sources on Friday that Sunak, a prominent figure in recent weeks as he
has unveiled some economic packages to protect businesses and workers, isn’t
Aside from Sunak,
Johnson has been near many other top officials leading the country’s response
to the pandemic, which may lead to more testing and certainly more concern
inside No. 10.
In recent days, the
government has ramped up restrictive social measures in a bid to slow the
spread of the virus; urging people to stay at home; and closing pubs,
restaurants, and other social venues.
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