Boris Johnson could be in danger of contracting the deadly coronavirus as Nadine Dorries tested positive for the disease yesterday. The health minister is the first known government official to fall ill with the novel virus since it planted a foothold in the country earlier this year.
The Prime Minister allegedly will not get tested for COVID-19, according to ITV’s political correspondent Paul Brand.
He said via Twtter: “The Prime Minister will not be tested for coronavirus and does not have any symptoms of the disease, according to No 10 sources.”
Mr Brand added in a follow-up tweet: “PM is understood not to have come into close contact with Nadine Dorries.
“Advice is you have to be within 2 metres of someone and PM also regularly washes his hands.”
Nadine Dorries’ diagnosis may lead authorities to carry out several COVID-19 tests on government officials.
In her role, the health minister has had contact with officials in Westminster, where she has met “hundreds” of people, according to The Times’ deputy political editor Steven Swinford.
Boris Johnson is amongst the people she has met, as she attended a reception hosted by Boris Johnson at Number 10 last Thursday.
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A health department source told The Times Ms Dorries started showing symptoms on the “back end” of the week, not long after visiting the Prime Minister.
However, the government questioned the level of contact she had with Mr Johnson.
They said: “We are lucky in the timing because Matt last saw Nadine last Wednesday and her symptoms only came on at the back end of the week.
“Matt has no symptoms and therefore is okay.”
“Nadine self-isolated on Saturday so over the weekend it’s hoped all traces were gone.
“We know Nadine was in Number 10 last week but it is not certain how much contact she had with the PM.
“You have to be within two metres for more than 20 minutes.”
Health authorities currently advise people to self-isolate if they have been in contact with a potentially infected individual or in a country where the virus is prevalent for two weeks.
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Many people with the disease don’t show symptoms for some time but remain infectious.
Speaking via Twitter, Ms Dorries said she hoped she was “over the worst of it” but feared for her elderly mother.
She said: “Thanks for so many good wishes. It’s been pretty rubbish but I hope I’m over the worst of it now.”
“More worried about my 84yo mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today.
“She is being tested tomorrow. Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.”
The UK currently has 382 cases coronavirus and six deaths, according to disease trackers with Johns Hopkins University, with the government in the containment phase of its four-step action plan.
Number 10 has accepted the virus will “spread in a significant way”, but is yet to introduce measures for social distancing as other countries have.
A government source said: “As with everything, we are being guided by the science on this.
“This will be treated like any other standard case. Officials are conducting the standard process of contact tracing and identifying anyone who has shown symptoms.”
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