UK PM Johnson self-isolating after MP tests positive for COVID-19

·3-min read

London, Nov 16 (PTI) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after meeting a Member of Parliament on Thursday who later tested positive for COVID-19.

The 56-year-old prime minister, who tested positive for the coronavirus in March and spent time in intensive care, said he was contacted by health authorities on Sunday but is not showing symptoms and will continue to work from Downing Street.

Johnson on Thursday spent about 35 minutes with Ashfield MP Lee Anderson who has since tested positive.

A photo taken at Thursday's event showed Johnson and Anderson socially distancing as they posed for the camera.

However, they were not wearing face masks.

Johnson wrote on Twitter on Sunday night: 'Today I was notified by National Health Service Test and Trace that I must self-isolate as I have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

'I have no symptoms, but am following the rules and will be working from No 10 as I continue to lead the government's pandemic response.' A No 10 spokesman added: 'The Prime Minister is well and does not have any symptoms of Covid-19.' In a WhatsApp message to Tory MPs seen by the BBC Johnson added: 'The good news is that NHS Test and Trace continues to improve. The bad news is that I have been pinged!' He said that he would observe self-isolation rules despite 'following the guidance and socially distancing' during his meeting with Anderson.

'It doesn't matter that I feel fine - better than ever - or that my body is bursting with antibodies because I have already had the damn thing,' he added.

'The rules are the rules and they are there to stop the spread of the disease.' In April, Johnson spent three nights in intensive care after falling ill with the deadly virus that has claimed over 50,000 lives and infected more than 1,372,000 people in the country.

He later said it 'could have gone either way' and thanked healthcare workers for saving his life.

Anderson, a 53-year-old Conservative MP, wrote on Facebook on Sunday that he was isolating after he showed some signs of the disease.

'Isolating. On Friday I lost my sense of taste at the same time my wife had a bad headache.

'I had no cough, no fever and felt well. We both had a test on Saturday and the result came in Sunday morning,' he wrote.

The news came as No 10 said Johnson would make 'critical announcements' about coronavirus and 'levelling up' the UK over the coming weeks, the BBC reported.

In an announcement planned before Johnson was told to self-isolate, Downing Street said there would be a 'clear signal' of his 'ongoing ambitions for the United Kingdom'.

It said Johnson would chair 'key Covid meetings' and work with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to devise the upcoming spending review with an aim to fulfil his promise to 'build back better'.

But No 10's effort to start the week afresh following the departure of two of Johnson's top aides amid an internal power struggle was overshadowed by news the prime minister was self-isolating, the report noted. PTI AKJ AKJ