U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavrius, Downing Street confirmed Friday, and will self-isolate for the next seven days.
Johnson, 55, was said to be suffering mild symptoms yesterday, and was tested shortly after at his official residence in central London. He is expected, however, to continue leading the government's response to the ongoing pandemic. Johnson's fiancee, Carrie Symonds, will self-isolate in a different location to the Prime Minister as she prepares to deliver the couple's first child in four months' time.
Health Minister Matt Hancock also tested positive a few hours later, the government said.
"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," a spokesman for the Prime Minister said Friday.
"The test was carried out in Number 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive," the spokesperson added. "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."
Earlier this week, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and next in line to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, aslo tested positive for the cornavirus and began a fourteen day self-isolation at his home in Balmoral, Scotland.
The infections of both Charles, one of the world's most high-profile coronavirus victims, and the Prime Minister come amid an unprecedented lockdown for U.K. citizens following a nation-wide order from Johnson earlier this week.
According to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker, some 578 people in the U.K. have died from the infection, the fifth-highest in Europe behind Italy, Spain, Germany and France, while a further 11.800 people have tested positive.