The Prime Minister and Health Secretary were pictured at close quarters in the Commons in recent days – well within the advised 6ft limit.
Just hours after they confirmed they had the virus, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, who has been the face of the nation’s coronavirus response, revealed he too had symptoms.
Professor Whitty said he would be isolating at home for seven days having experienced symptoms ‘compatible’ with the disease on Thursday night.
In fact the Chief Medical Officer – who is also a consultant doctor – had even advised the Prime Minister in person earlier that evening after Mr Johnson complained of coronavirus-like symptoms.
It is not known whether Professor Whitty examined Mr Johnson or took his temperature, but he is unlikely to have been wearing protective clothing.
In another frantic day of developments in the battle against coronavirus:
- US President Donald Trump wished Mr Johnson a ‘speedy recovery’ as the two leaders spoke on the phone;
- Mr Gove revealed a new alliance between businesses, research institutes and universities will boost testing capacity so NHS workers will know if they have coronavirus with testing starting next week;
- NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said there are now 33,000 beds available nationwide for coronavirus patients;
- He also revealed two new Nightingale hospitals will be set up in Birmingham and Manchester in addition to the one in London;
- A council is facing a furious backlash after targeting members of the public with drones, as lawyers warned that police are ‘unlawfully’ trying to restrict people travelling to isolated spots to exercise and walk their dogs;
- There are demands for the government to go further to help millions of self-employed after Mr Sunak admitted a bailout for income support will not be up and running until June;
- Buckingham Palace has said the Queen remains in ‘good health’ and has not seen the PM since March 11;
- UK supermarkets said they will use a government database of 1.5 million vulnerable shoppers to help prioritise delivery slots.
Boris Johnson pictured within six-foot of Health Secretary Matt Hancock before a press conference at No10 Downing Street on March 12. Both have tested positive for the virus and chief medical officer Chris Whitty, pictured at the top of the stairs, has symptoms
Boris Johnson pictured announcing to the UK that he has tested positive for coronavirus in a video shared to social media
The UK saw coronavirus cases jump by 2,921 on Friday, the largest increase so far
A Downing Street spokesman suggested it was unlikely the Chief Medical Officer contracted the disease from the Prime Minister, as the first signs usually take several days to appear.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, revealed on Thursday he was self-isolating with symptoms, and several Department of Health advisers are also thought to have the virus.
That the virus has infected so many senior figures who are co-ordinating the nation’s response will raise concerns policies to contain its spread will be impeded.
The chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, revealed on Thursday that he would be self-isolating after experiencing symptoms of the virus
The Prime Minister is isolating in an ensuite bedroom above No11 Downing Street after he was diagnosed with coronavirus
Boris Johnson was outside No10 last night applauding NHS workers who are combating the virus, in a national show of appreciation – but kept his distance from Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Mr Johnson was in the Commons for PMQs on Wednesday, raising fears other politicians might have been infected
A Department of Health source said Professor Whitty only had mild symptoms and would still be coordinating the nation’s response in self-isolation at home.
Writing on Twitter yesterday, Professor Whitty said: ‘After experiencing symptoms compatible with Covid-19 last night, in line with the guidance, I will be self-isolating at home for the next seven days. I will be continuing to advise the Government on the medical response to coronavirus, supported by my deputies.’
Mr Hancock developed a temperature and sore throat on Wednesday evening – just hours after he had been in close contact with the Prime Minister.
PM’s pregnant partner Carrie thought to be in self-isolation
Boris Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds is pregnant and is thought to have been self-isolating in line with government advice.
Ms Symonds, 32, who is believed to be six months pregnant with the baby due in the early summer, was last seen in Downing Street over the weekend and is likely to have left to protect herself.
She now faces an anxious wait to see if she has been exposed to coronavirus, with pregnant women are more likely to catch an infection than women who are not pregnant.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman refused to comment of her whereabouts, health or whether she has been tested.
As recently as Wednesday afternoon, he was pictured next to Mr Johnson and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is considered more at risk from coronavirus as he has Type 1 diabetes, shortly after Prime Minister’s Questions.Mr Johnson, meanwhile, was photographed clapping for NHS staff on Thursday night with Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside Downing Street, when he is likely to have had symptoms, although kept a distance apart.
In recent weeks Mr Johnson has continued to meet his Cabinet and key advisers, including Professor Whitty, while urging the public to work from home wherever possible. Although the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have both tested positive, the Chief Medical Officer has not himself undertaken a test.
Tests are only available to Cabinet ministers if they show symptoms, which raises the possibility that others may have contracted the disease and spread it without realising they were ill.
A spokesman for Mr Sunak, who is not self-isolating, said he has not had any symptoms and therefore has not been tested.
Downing Street has previously confirmed that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would stand in if Mr Johnson was too unwell to continue leading the nation.
If Mr Raab also became ill, the Prime Minister has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday took questions from the media alongside the deputy chief medical officer as he unveiled a bail out for the self-employed
Mr Johnson chaired Cabinet by video conference on Tuesday – but senior officials including Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill were still close to the PM
The PM’s video statement in full
‘Hi folks I want to bring you up to speed on something that is happening today which is that I have developed mild symptoms of coronavirus, that is 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 am self isolating. That is 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 fight back against coronavirus.
‘I want to thank everybody who is 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 is not just the NHS, it’s our police, it’s our social care workers, teachers, everybody who works in schools, DWP staff.
‘An amazing national effort by the public services but also by every member of the British public who is volunteering – an incredible response, 600,000 people have volunteered to take part in a great national effort to protect people from the consequences of coronavirus.
‘I want to thank you. I want to thank everybody who is working to keep our country going through this epidemic and we will get through it.
‘The way we are going to get through it is of course by applying the measures that you will have heard so much about and the more effectively we all comply with those measures, the faster our country will come through this epidemic and the faster we will bounce back.
‘So thank you to everybody who is doing what I am doing, working from home to stop the spread of the virus from household to household. That is the way we are going to win. We are doing to beat it and we are going to beat it together.
‘Stay at home. Protect the NHS. And save lives.’
Where did Boris Johnson catch coronavirus… and who did he infect? How PM came into close contact with politicians and health chiefs over past 10 days before testing positive
He has also stood near Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.
The three scientists have appeared at the Downing Street press conferences, and have also been meeting other politicians and civil servants across Westminster.
While the PM has held Cabinet meetings and discussions with the Queen remotely, he still attended the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
Last night Mr Johnson stood outside in Downing Street with Mr Sunak as they both joined in the national clap for NHS staff. They stood distanced from one another.
However a spokesman for Mr Sunak has said he had not had any symptoms and therefore had not been tested for coronavirus and was not self-isolating.
Going further back, the Prime Minister attended the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9 with his pregnant partner Carrie Symonds.
There, the couple spoke to a number of dignitaries and celebrities, and Mr Johnson was photographed shaking hands with boxer Anthony Joshua after the service.
He has also spoken to schoolchildren at No10 on March 5, visited flood defences in Worcestershire on March 8 and been to laboratories on March 1 and March 6.
Here is a pictorial guide to what Mr Johnson has been doing this month:
Boris Johnson joins in with a national applause for the NHS outside Downing Street last night
Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside Downing Street for the applause last night
Boris Johnson in the study of 10 Downing Street on a video call to other G20 leaders yesterday
Boris Johnson on the phone in his office in Downing Street to Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday
Boris Johnson speaks during his first remote news conference on coronavirus on Wednesday
Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street from Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday
Boris Johnson speaks at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday
Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday morning
Boris Johnson chairs a weekly Cabinet meeting remotely from the Cabinet Rroom on Tuesday
Boris Johnson addresses the nation from Downing Street and imposes a lockdown on Monday
Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing at Downing Street on coronavirus on Sunday
Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing at Downing Street on coronavirus on Sunday, with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily coronavirus update in the Cabinet Room on Saturday
Boris Johnson (centre) with Chancellor Rishi Sunak (left) and Jenny Harries (right) on March 20
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty (left) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance (right) watch as Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at Downing Street on March 19
Boris Johnson speaks at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on March 18
Boris Johnson with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance at Downing Street on March 17
Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds speak with heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day on March 9
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds arriving at Westminster Abbey for the service on March 9
Boris Johnson surveys flood defences in the Worcestershire town of Bewdley on March 8
Boris Johnson visits the Mologic Laboratory in the Bedford Technology Park on March 6
Boris Johnson speaks at Downing Street on March 5, in an event attended by Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who later tested positive for the virus, as well as Trade Secretary Liz Truss (in red next to the podium) and athlete Kelly Holmes (in a black suit, two places to Ms Truss’s left)
Boris Johnson visits a laboratory at the Public Health England National Infection Service in Colindale, North London, on March 1
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Why didn't they practice what they preached? Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and Chris Whitty face accusations they failed to follow their own advice on social distancing as government is mauled over coronavirus testing failures have 2291 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at March 27, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.