British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he tested positive for the coronavirus and self-isolated, but that it would still guide the government's response to the emergency.

A Downing Street spokesman said Johnson, 55, had been having mild symptoms since Thursday - a day after responding to the prime minister's weekly Q&A session in the House of Commons of Parliament.

"In the past 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and positive results for coronavirus," said Johnson. "I am now in self-isolation, but I will continue to guide the government's response via videoconferencing as we fight this virus."

It was not immediately clear how many Downing Street employees and senior ministers were to isolate, as many have had contact with Johnson in the past few days and weeks.

When Britain applauded health workers on Thursday evening, Johnson and his finance minister Rishi Sunak came out of separate entrances to Downing Street and did not come into close contact, according to a Reuters photographer on the scene.

Earlier the government claimed that Johnson had the option to delegate Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab if necessary.

"The prime minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of the English Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty," said the spokesman.

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