British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday after showing persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus.
“On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” Downing Street said. “This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus.”
Nine days ago, Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus and was self-isolating at his Downing Street residence but said he would still lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak.
Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms a day after he answered questions at a weekly question-and-answer session in parliament’s House of Commons chamber. He received the positive test result at around midnight.
“I’ve taken a test. That has come out positive,” Johnson said in a video statement broadcast on Twitter. “I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s to say - a temperature and a persistent cough.”
“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,” he said.
Health minister Matt Hancock, another senior member of the British government’s response, said he had also tested positive and was self-isolating at home with mild symptoms. The government’s top medical adviser also said he had symptoms.
Johnson is the first leader of a major power to announce a positive test result for coronavirus. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into isolation this month after his wife tested positive for the virus.
US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both been tested, so far with negative results.
Trump, in remarks at the White House, said he spoke with Johnson to wish him a speedy recovery. “Before he even said hello he said, ‘we need ventilators,’” Trump said.
“I said, ‘wow that’s a big statement.’ Hopefully he’s going to be in good shape,” Trump said.