Updated UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
With the PM having been appearing daily on live TV along with, among others, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and the country's chief medical officer and chief scientific advisor, you have to hope Britain's leadership have been measuring out their Osmans.
In a video posted on Twitter this morning, the 55-year-old PM's PR minions declared that their boss had been showing symptoms of the virus and had tested positive today.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
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 pic.twitter.com/9Te6aFP0Ri
The Prime Minister said: "I want to bring you up to speed to something that's happened today. I have mild symptoms of the coronavirus, a temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the chief medical officer I did the test and it has come out positive. I am working from home and self isolating and that's entirely the right thing to do."
Johnson is not alone: earlier this week Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne, also tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Ebullient as ever, Johnson rounded off his video by saying: "We're going to beat it together. Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives."
His nominated stand-in, should the PM become too unwell to continue, is reportedly foreign secretary Dominic Raab, whose understanding of general governmental matters has been rather questionable over the past few years.
One political wag joked on Twitter: "If you have a bit of a temperature, you could always hide in a freezer..." referring to the time when the PM did that exact thing while fleeing from Piers Morgan's telly cameras.
Other news related to the spread of the virus from across the UK is alternately upbeat and less so. While millions came out to applaud the NHS in a national show of solidarity at 8pm local time last night, social media workers from the police force continued to inform concerned members of the public over Twitter that they would be using their drones to check identities and car number plates, despite some public backlash, while the National Police Chiefs' Council, a semi-official police body that decides which laws are enforced and how, this morning endorsed Derbyshire Police checking on people going for walks in empty stretches of the countryside via drone.
The Coronavirus Act and the Coronavirus Regulations are in force for six months but can be renewed by government ministers at will. ®
Updated at 13:06 to add
UK health secretary Matt Hancock just tweeted:
Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) March 27, 2020
I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.
Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives#StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/TguWH6Blij
Meanwhile, Dominic Cummings' run from Downing Street has launched 1,000 memes...