Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

The British prime minister made the announcement on Twitter

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 17, 2020 file photo British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference about the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak inside 10 Downing Street in London. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Johnson's office said Friday March 27, 2020 that he was tested after showing mild symptoms, Downing St. says Johnson is self-isolating and continuing to lead the country's response to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)

Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus, the British Prime Minister said on Friday.

“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” he said on Twitter.

"I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus. Together we will beat this. #StayHomeSaveLives."

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, professor Chris Whitty.

“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.

“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.

“He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.”

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive for the virus and is working from home after developing mild symptoms on Wednesday night.

The two men are the latest notable public figures to contract the virus, after Prince Charles tested positive for it earlier this week.

Other senior diplomats, politicians and celebrities around the world have tested positive for the disease, including actors Tom Hanks and Idris Elba, EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Canada's First Lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

The UAE ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, gave his support to the British prime minister.

"Very sorry to hear @BorisJohnson has caught the coronavirus. Everybody at the Embassy wishes the Prime Minister a speedy recovery!" he said on Twitter.

In a video posted on his Twitter, Mr Johnson encouraged the nation to self-isolate and stay at home.

On Thursday evening at 8pm, Mr Johnson and the Royal family joined the nation in saluting the UK's healthcare workers battling the coronavirus outbreak.

In the Twitter video, Mr Johnson said it "was very moving" to be part of the nationwide national clap, and hailed "amazing national effort" to tackle the pandemic.

He also thanked 650,000 volunteers that have signed up to help the NHS fight the virus.

"I want to thank you and everybody who is working to keep this country going through this epidemic. And we're going to get through it of course by applying the measures that you would have heard so much about," he said.

"The more effectively we all comply with these measures the faster our country will come through this epidemic and the faster we will bounce back," he added.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, wished Mr Johnson a speedy recovery.

“Together we will face the Covid-19 challenge with determination, unity and solidarity for all mankind,” said Sheikh Mohamed on Twitter.

On Friday, Britain closed all restaurants, cafes, bars, museums and other entertainment venues would close until further notice to stop the spread of the outbreak.

There are 11,816 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in Britain and 578 have died from it.