UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests POSITIVE for Covid-19 infection
“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” Johnson said. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.”
(rt)—It was not immediately clear when the prime minister was tested but various members of his staff had been working elsewhere when the news first emerged that he had tested positive.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
Johnson, 55, reportedly began experiencing mild symptoms on Thursday and was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty.
Reports in UK media indicate that finance minister Rishi Sunak and health secretary Matt Hancock will have to enter self-isolation because they spent time with Johnson while he was infectious.
For the time being, Johnson will continue to carry out his duties, but Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominc Raab may be asked to step in should the prime minister’s condition worsen. Were he to step in, Raab’s official title would be Understudy to the Prime Minister.
The latest figures show that the UK has over 11,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection which has, so far, resulted in the deaths of 578 people.
The news of the prime minister’s illness comes amid claims that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is facing a “continuous tsunami” of infection and may soon collapse as Intensive Care Units across the country fill up and staff absences due to illness mount, according to the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson.
London hospitals facing ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 patients, likely to be overwhelmed in days – hospitals chief
“They are struggling with the explosion of demand in seriously ill patients. They are saying it’s the number arriving and the speed with which they are arriving and how ill they are. They talk about wave after wave after wave,” Hopson told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
“The words that are used to me are that it’s a continuous tsunami.”
NHS Providers is a group which represents hospital bosses across the UK.
UK security agencies have done ‘no planning or intel gathering’ on pandemic threats, despite ample warnings, analysis finds
The risk of a devastating pandemic was repeatedly raised by UK policy-making officials for 15 years, but the threat was never taken seriously or prepared for by British security and intelligence officials, new analysis says.
Systematic planning or intelligence gathering around health crises “does not appear to take place in any UK security agency” despite the fact that their proclaimed roles are to keep the country safe, according to Declassified UK, which conducted the research.
The lack of focus on health crises is not for lack of warnings. The National Risk Register has “regularly concluded” that an influenza pandemic is the “gravest threat” to UK security, and could see potentially 750,000 deaths in a worst-case scenario as well as major supply disruptions without proper precautions.
The Declassified UK analysis comes after the UK faced widespread criticism, including from World Health Organization (WHO) experts, for its slow response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which was initially aimed at building ‘herd immunity’ to the virus.