A health minister has become the first MP to be diagnosed with coronavirus – and recently attended a Downing Street reception with the Prime Minister.
Nadine Dorries, 62, confirmed to The Times that she started feeling unwell on Friday last week, before receiving an official diagnosis this evening.
Her symptoms have been said to include a dry cough, high temperature and ‘vice-like’ pain in her chest. It is not known how the Tory MP contracted the virus, but she is now understood to be recovering in isolation.
Over the past week, Dorries has been working in parliament and the Department of Health and Social Care, and on Thursday attended a Downing Street event hosted by Boris Johnson in honour of International Women’s Day.
Officials are now identifying anyone who may have been in contact with her, including other MPs or members of her Mid Bedfordshire constituency. In a statement, Dorries thanked Public Health England and the ‘wonderful NHS staff’ who provided her with ‘advice and support’.
It is likely the MP’s diagnosis will raise questions about whether parliament should close in the coming weeks, as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the UK.
So-far six people have died from Covid-19, while as of 2pm today, 373 people have tested positive for the virus.
The Prime Minister is currently facing increasing pressure to take the UK into the ‘delay’ stage of the government’s strategy for battling the virus.