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UK PM Johnson's adviser Cummings isolating with coronavirus symptoms

Dominic Cummings

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.