The coronavirus outbreak at the heart of the UK government spread on Monday with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, self-isolating with symptoms just days after the British leader himself tested positive.
A Downing Street spokesman said Cummings, one of the most powerful men in the government, had developed symptoms of COVID-19 over the weekend.
Johnson on Friday became the first leader of a major world power to announce he had tested positive for the virus. His health minister, Matt Hancock, also tested positive and the government’s chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, is self-isolating.
Cummings was seen sprinting out of Downing Street shortly after Johnson revealed he had tested positive. Last week, the adviser denied a newspaper report which said he had prioritized herd immunity and the economy in the coronavirus crisis at the expense of pensioners dying.
Britain initially took a modest approach to containing the spread of the disease compared to its European peers such as Italy and France.