British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday he was in “good health” and had no symptoms despite self-isolating after an MP he was in contact with tested positive for coronavirus.
“It doesn’t matter that I’m fit as a butcher’s dog, feel great…that I’ve had the disease and I’m bursting with antibodies,” he said in a video released on Twitter.
“We’ve got to interrupt the spread of the disease and one of the ways we can do that now is by self-isolating for 14 days when contacted by Test and Trace,” he added, saying he would lead the virus response from his Downing Street home.
Johnson spent three days in intensive care with coronavirus in April. This time round, he said he was not suffering any symptoms and health minister Matt Hancock on Monday described him as “full of beans”.
The prime minister was informed by the Test and Trace scheme that he should self-isolate after Conservative MP Lee Anderson, who Johnson met on Thursday, tested positive for the virus.
Johnson was out of action for nearly a month when he caught the virus during the first wave of infections from March.
But the Conservative Party leader said he would have “plenty more to say by Zoom and other means of electronic communication” during this spell in isolation.
The British leader has said his coronavirus case was seriously worsened by being overweight, but that he had since lost 26 pounds (12 kilos).
“I am going to continue that diet, because you’ve got to search for the hero inside of yourself, in the hope that that individual is considerably slimmer,” he joked last month.
– Vaccine plea -Britain has been the worst-hit nation in Europe recording over 50,000 coronavirus deaths from 1.2 million positive cases.
But Johnson said the country now had two “gigantic boxing gloves with which to wallop” the virus in the shape of mass rapid-turnaround testing and a potential vaccine that he said could be available for the most vulnerable citizens before Christmas.
The government announced on Monday that daily testing capacity is set to more than double early next year with the opening of two new “megalabs” processing up to 600,000 samples a day.
Health minister Hancock on Monday criticised groups that were opposed to taking the new vaccine, telling Times Radio that it was “entirely inappropriate”.
“We don’t propose, and allow vaccines in this country, unless they pass some of the most stringent safety requirements in the world,” he said.
“Getting a vaccine — whether it’s for flu or hopefully for coronavirus — is something that not only protects you but protects the people around you. So it’s a really important step,” he added.
News of Johnson’s self-isolation capped a tumultuous week which saw his controversial chief aide Dominic Cummings leave his post.
His departure came as part of an expected reset of Johnson’s wobbling premiership, but that now looks to be on hold with the prime minister confined to home.
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