© Getty Business Secretary Alok Sharma wipes his face during a speech in the House of Commons, London. Sharma has been tested for coronavirus after becoming visibly unwell in the debating chamber. Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak could be forced to go into 14-day self-isolation if cabinet minister Alok Sharma tests positive for Covid-19, Downing Street has confirmed.
The three ministers held a 45-minute meeting in No.10 yesterday just hours before the business secretary fell ill in the House of Commons, the PM’s spokesperson revealed on Thursday.
Sharma is currently in self-isolation after displaying a high temperature while at the despatch box, but his test result has not yet been received, the spokesperson said.
Here’s How Wuhan Tested 6.5 Million for Coronavirus in Days
In Wuhan, medical workers armed with coronavirus test swabs scoured construction sites and markets to look for itinerant workers while others made house calls to reach older residents and people with disabilities. Officials aired announcements over loudspeakers urging people to sign up for their own good. These are the front lines of an unprecedented campaign to screen virtually all 11 million people in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began. Nearly two weeks in, the government is getting close to reaching its goal, with 6.5 million tested so far.
More on coronavirus:
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Key changes to the UK's lockdown rules (The Guardian)
What the NHS Test and Trace system asks you to do (The Independent)
Under the new NHS Test and Trace system, anyone who tests positive is asked to supply a full list of anyone who they have been in “close contact”, including those who have spent more than 15 minutes with a colleague at a distance of less than 2m.
Related: MPs renew calls for virtual Parliament to return as Alok Sharma falls ill
No.10 stressed that the meeting of Johnson, Sunak and Sharma had observed usual social distancing rules but said that if the test-and-trace professionals advised them to go into a fortnight’s self-isolation they would do so.
“We would follow the advice which is being given by the medical experts,” the PM’s official spokesperson said.
Related: How the coronavirus crisis is being handled around the world (Photos)
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Brexit: resumption of tough negotiations between London and Brussels
© Sophie RAMIS The main stages of the road to Brexit British and Europeans meet Tuesday by videoconference for a new session of discussions without much hope of progress, despite the pressure of the calendar and the risk of a "no deal". Michel Barnier, the European negotiator, warned Sunday in the Sunday Times that there would be "no agreement" if London did not reverse its previous positions and reproached the British for choosing "only what suited them" in the European single market.
“He did attend the meeting in No. 10, which took place before cabinet. That was a discussion on the economy. And in terms of who was present, it was the prime minister, the chancellor, and the business secretary.
“Should the secretary of state receive a positive test, then he will work with the test and trace service to share information about his recent interactions. They will be able to provide the necessary advice.
© PA “Meetings which are taking place in No.10 are all properly socially distanced. It is not as simple as saying that if you have been in a room with someone and you test positive you are required to self isolate. The guidance sets out there is more to it than that.”
However the guidance does state that there would be need for a full discussion about any contacts within a “workplace”.
During the Commons debate yesterday, Sharma was seen wiping his face with a handkerchief several times and his opposite number in Labour’s shadow cabinet, Ed Miliband, passed him a glass of water at one point.
Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.
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