oris Johnson has announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first world leader to confirm being infected with the virus.
In a video message posted to Twitter, the 55-year-old British prime minister said that he had started to develop mild symptoms, including a fever and a cough, over the past 24 hours.
He added that he was now self-isolating but would continue to lead the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic from his residence at Downing Street.
“So thank you to everybody who’s doing what I’m doing, working from home to stop the spread of the virus from household to household,” he said.
“That’s the way we’re going to win.”
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
Earlier this week, Johnson had put the UK on lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, telling the British public: “You must stay at home.”
Previously, he had been accused of not taking the outbreak seriously enough. Back on March 3, Johnson admitted that he had shaken hands with coronavirus patients at the hospital.
“I shook hands with everybody,” he said. “People can make up their own mind but I think it’s very important to keep shaking hands.”
‘I’m shaking hands continuously. I was at a hospital the other night where there were actually some covid patients and I shook hands with everybody. People can make up their own mind but I think it’s very important to keep shaking hands." – Boris Johnsonpic.twitter.com/R8n5M2Vx8m
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) March 27, 2020
Johnson’s announcement comes only two days after Prince Charles tested positive for the virus.
The UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock has also recently confirmed that he too is infected.
Including those three, the UK is now up to more than 11,000 coronavirus cases.