UK health minister tests positive for coronavirus

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A British health minister has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Nadine Dorries, who is the UK’s junior health minister, is in isolation and recovering after falling ill on Friday.

Her diagnosis comes after she attended a reception with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to the Times of London, and meeting hundreds of people in Parliament.

As news broke of her testing positive to the disease, Ms Dorries thanked people for “so many good wishes”.

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson with Nadine Dorries (centre) and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss (right) during a Tory leadership hustings at the Woodlands Event Centre in Wyboston, Bedfordshire. Source: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images
Boris Johnson with Nadine Dorries (centre) and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss (right) pictured last year. Source: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

“It’s been pretty rubbish but I hope I’m over the worst of it now. More worried about my 84yo mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today,” she tweeted.

“She is being tested tomorrow. Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.”

Britain’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said he was “really sorry to hear Nadine has tested positive for coronavirus”.

“She has done the right thing by self isolating at home, and both NHS and PHE staff have been brilliant. We all wish her well as she recovers,” he said.

UK health officials are now trying to trace where she contracted the virus and who she has been in contact with, Ms Dorries, a Conservative MP, said in a separate statement confirming her diagnosis.

Six people have died in Britain from the virus, with more than 370 confirmed cases.

Ms Dorries, who helped craft the legislation to fight the bug, is the first British politician to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

She fell unwell on Friday while signing the document that declared coronavirus a notifiable disease, meaning companies could obtain insurance cover, The Times reported.

– with Reuters and AFP

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