Health Secretary infected with coronavirus after Boris Johnson says he has bug

The UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been diagnosed with the coronavirus – just hours after Boris Johnson confirmed he had the bug.

The Prime Minister announced the diagnosis this morning in a message on his Twitter.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Hanock said he would be self-isolating at home.

He stated: “Fortunately for me the symptoms so far have been very mild so I’ve been able to carry on with the work driving forward the UK response.”

He also said a “massive thank you to everybody in the NHS, working in social care and right across the board on the response”.

Johnson earlier told his followers: "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.

"Together we will beat this. #StayHomeSaveLives."

Following the news, Buckingham Palace issued a brief statement to say The Queen remained in good health and had not seen the Prime Minister since March 11.

The UK’s chief scientific adviser has said the numbers of people with coronavirus will continue to go up – but the infection should be "dampened down".

Sir Patrick Vallance said: “We are at the stage where people are still going to get it. As I’ve said, numbers will continue to go up.

“But with the measures in place, the beginnings of the infection now should be damped right down so we would expect to see that translating into fewer people with symptoms and definitely fewer hospitalisations and serious illness in two to three, maybe four weeks.”

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But another World Health Organisation expert has warned the UK will “pay a price” for not enforcing a coronavirus lockdown earlier.

Walter Ricciardi, the Italian government's scientific adviser who called for the country's nationwide quarantine, said the government should have taken action before Monday.

He pointed to bleak images of packed carriages on the London Underground, comparing it to a football match in Milan last month that could have accelerated the outbreak in the region of Lombardy.

40,000 football fans travelled from Bergamo to San Siro stadium to watch Atalanta beat Valencia on February 19.

Mr Ricciardi told Sky News: "When you take the decision late you pay a price in sick people and in deaths.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Coronavirus

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