British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the U.K., announced on Twitter Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus after developing "mild symptoms."

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  • Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the U.K., announced on Twitter Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus after developing "mild symptoms."
  • "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus," Johnson tweeted.
  • In a video he shared on Twitter, he urged the public to "stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, he announced on Twitter on Friday morning. Johnson said in a video that he was tested after displaying mild symptoms, specifically "a temperature and a persistent cough," and is now self-isolating at 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister stressed that he will continue to "lead the national fightback against coronavirus," using "the wizardry of modern technology" to communicate with his staff.

A spokesperson for Downing Street, in a statement given to the Guardiansaid, "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. 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," the spokesperson finished.

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Read Johnson's full statement below:

Hi folks, I want to bring you up to speed with something that’s happening today, which is that I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus—that’s 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’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.

I want to thank everyone who’s involved. I want to thank, of course above all, our amazing NHS staff. It was very moving last night to join in that national clap for the NHS. But it’s not just the NHS: It’s our police; our social care workers; our teachers; everybody who works in schools; the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) staff. An amazing national effort by the public services but also by every member of the public who’s volunteering. An incredible response; 600,000 people have volunteered to take part in a great national effort to protect people from the consequences of the coronavirus.

I want to thank you. I want to thank everybody who’s working to keep our country going through this epidemic. We will get through it, and the way we’re going to get through it is, of course, by applying the measures that you’ll have heard so much about. The more effectively we all comply with those measures, the faster our country will come through this epidemic and the faster we’ll bounce back.

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. Stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.

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Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.