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British PM Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

By
Don Jacobson & Danielle Haynes
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the coronavirus outbreak at a news conference at 10 Downing Street on March 20. Photo by Julian Simmonds/EPA-EFE
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the coronavirus outbreak at a news conference at 10 Downing Street on March 20. Photo by Julian Simmonds/EPA-EFE

March 27 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday he's tested positive for the coronavirus disease, but has so far experienced only mild symptoms.

Johnson is the first head of government to announce testing positive for COVID-19.

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"Over the last 24 hours, I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," he tweeted Friday. "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus."

In a video message, Johnson thanked Britain's National Health Service, healthcare workers and all Britons working to stop the spread of the virus, which has killed hundreds of people in Britain.

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"We will get through it, and the way we're going to get through it is, of course, by applying the measures that you have heard so much about," Johnson said in his video message. "The more effectively we comply with those measures, the faster our country will come through this [crisis] and the faster we'll bounce back."

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Johnson's announcement came hours after the British government issued new guidelines against Britons moving into new homes during lockdown measures. The move essentially freezes Britain's real estate market.

"We encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree to alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus will no longer be in place," the guidance said.

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"All parties should work together to agree to a delay or another way to resolve this matter."

In Russia, meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that an official in President Vladimir Putin's administration has tested positive for the virus. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the official has had no contact with Putin.

Scenes from a pandemic: World copes with COVID-19

A health worker with the Israeli national emergency service, Magen David Adam, wears protective gear while taking swabs to test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing center in East Jerusalem on August 26. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

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