Prime Minister Boris Johnson has examined optimistic for coronavirus and is self-isolating in Downing Road.
He mentioned he had skilled delicate signs over the previous 24 hours, together with a temperature and cough, however would proceed to guide the federal government.
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock mentioned he had additionally examined optimistic whereas England’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has proven signs.
One other 181 individuals died with the virus prior to now day, figures showed.
It takes the overall variety of UK deaths to 759, with 14,543 confirmed instances.
The each day coronavirus information convention was led by Cupboard Workplace minister Michael Gove, alongside deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries and NHS England chief government Sir Simon Stevens.
They announced plans to begin a large-scale testing programme of health service staff, beginning with important care groups. It’ll later be expanded to cowl social care workers too.
It follows mounting criticism from NHS workers over a scarcity of testing – at present, solely seriously-ill sufferers in hospital are being examined.
Testing shall be carried out on workers displaying attainable signs of the virus or workers who stay with individuals who have signs – not for all frontline employees as a matter in fact.
“This shall be antigen testing – testing whether or not individuals at present have the illness – in order that our well being and social care employees can have safety within the data that they’re protected to return to work if their check is destructive,” Mr Gove mentioned.
The British Medical Affiliation, which represents medical doctors, mentioned the announcement was “lengthy overdue” and the dearth of testing to this point had been “extremely irritating”.
“For each wholesome member of workers at dwelling self-isolating needlessly when they don’t have the virus, the NHS is in need of somebody who may very well be offering very important care to sufferers on the frontline,” BMA chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul mentioned.
He mentioned that 33,000 beds – the equal of 50 hospitals – had been freed up throughout England prepared for coronavirus sufferers.
The federal government has imposed strict restrictions on on a regular basis life designed to sluggish the unfold of the virus.
Mr Gove mentioned scientific evaluation steered the speed of an infection had been doubling each three to 4 days, however the “implausible” public response to the restrictions would make a distinction.
Requested whether or not the prime minister and well being secretary ought to have been “higher protected”, he mentioned: “The truth that the virus isn’t any respecter of people, whoever they’re, is without doubt one of the the explanation why we do have to have strict social distancing measures in order that we will cut back the speed of an infection and cut back the strain on the NHS,” he added.
Working from dwelling
Mr Johnson is regarded as the primary world chief to announce they’ve the virus.
He was final seen on Thursday evening, clapping outdoors No 10 as a part of a nationwide gesture to thank NHS staff and carers.
In a video on his Twitter account, Mr Johnson, 55, mentioned: “I am working from dwelling and self-isolating and that is fully the suitable factor to do.
“However, be in little doubt that I can proceed, because of the wizardry of contemporary expertise, to speak with all my prime group to guide the nationwide fight-back in opposition to coronavirus.”
The PM chaired a telephone name on Friday morning, and later within the day, Downing Road mentioned he had spoken to US President Donald Trump.
“The president wished the prime minister a speedy restoration from coronavirus,” a spokesman mentioned. “They agreed to work collectively carefully, together with the G7, the G20, and different worldwide companions, to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.”
Mr Hancock said he was experiencing delicate signs of the virus, and could be self-isolating till subsequent Thursday.
He informed BBC Look East it was “comprehensible that individuals will ask the query” why he and the prime minister have been examined, however most individuals with attainable signs weren’t.
The well being secretary mentioned there was a protocol laid down by the chief medical officer which required a small variety of senior figures, key to the nationwide effort, to be examined.
Earlier this week the prime minister’s spokesman mentioned if Mr Johnson was unwell and unable to work, Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab, as the primary secretary of state, would stand in.
The prime minister’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who’s a number of months pregnant, can also be self-isolating, though it’s not identified if they’re nonetheless residing collectively.
Pregnant ladies are advised to be particularly stringent when following social distancing recommendation, and minimise social contact for as much as 12 weeks.
Perhaps it was inevitable.
One of many first moments that raised eyebrows in the middle of the UK outbreak was when well being minister Nadine Dorries got here down with coronavirus.
Then, final week, we found that some key workers in No 10, together with the prime minister’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost, have been self-isolating with suspected signs.
A good variety of MPs took themselves off into isolation for concern of getting contracted the an infection.
Their remaining colleagues have been regularly ordered to take a seat far aside on the inexperienced benches, earlier than lastly, this week, Parliament itself closed early, with no sure date for a return of regular enterprise.
Nonetheless, the information this morning that the prime minister himself has contracted coronavirus felt like a shock.
Neither the PM’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings nor Chancellor Rishi Sunak has signs. They haven’t been examined.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the Queen, 93, noticed Mr Johnson greater than two weeks in the past on 11 March, and she or he is in good well being.
The pair normally meet weekly for the prime minister’s viewers with the Queen, however the newest conferences have been over the telephone.
In different developments:
- Police forces in England and Wales have fined people for ignoring steering issued to stop the unfold of coronavirus.
- The UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has mentioned he expects the variety of coronavirus instances to extend over the following two to a few weeks, after which begin to step by step lower as a result of present lockdown.
- Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned Londoners there will be “a large number” of deaths and momentary mortuaries shall be arrange throughout the capital.
- The Ministry of Justice says 27 prisoners, in 14 prisons, have examined optimistic.
- Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s is facing collapse, after warning it’s dealing with everlasting department closures resulting from coronavirus.
- The quantity of people that have volunteered to assist the NHS has reached 700,000. The federal government initially set a goal of 250,000 however elevated it to 750,000 after an enormous response.
- Greater than 7,000 former nurses and midwives have signed up to return to the profession.
- Tesco has said that internet buyers could have their deliveries capped at 80 objects any further, whereas supermarkets may even use a authorities database of 1.5 million weak consumers in England to assist prioritise supply slots.
- The Queen’s birthday parade, the Trooping the Color, won’t go forward in its typical kind, and different choices are being thought-about.
Different world leaders together with Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Germany’s Angela Merkel have self-isolated after coming into contact with individuals who have examined optimistic for the virus.
Politicians together with Labour’s shadow dwelling secretary Diane Abbott shared messages to the PM, wishing him a “speedy restoration”.
In the meantime, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, informed Mr Johnson: “Europe needs you a speedy restoration.”