A British health minister has tested positive for coronavirus, raising fears about the potential spread of the illness through Boris Johnson’s government as Europe tackles the spread of COVID-19.
Nadine Dorries is the first member of parliament to be diagnosed, days after meeting the prime minister, his pregnant fiancee and dozens of other senior figures at a Downing Street reception.
It came as Turkey announced its first case, and follows the announcement that 168 more people have died in Italy.
Austria has shut its borders to anyone arriving from Italy unless they are certified free of COVID-19.
The move underscores the different approaches taken by EU members to prevent the spread of the disease.
Thanks for so many good wishes. It’s been pretty rubbish but I hope I’m over the worst of it now. More worried about my 84yo mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today. She is being tested tomorrow. Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.
— Nadine Dorries ?? (@NadineDorries) March 10, 2020
Slovenia later announced that it was closing its border with Italy, which France’s President Emmanuel Macron said was “a bad decision.”
Meanwhile, the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in the US cancelled an event called “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” due to the spread of the infection itself, according to a Bloomberg report.
In other latest coronavirus developments:
- UK cases jump by 54 to 373, including a sixth death
- Ryanair cancels flights to, from and within Italy until April 8; BA cancels its services until April 4
- General-secretary of Spain’s right-wing Vox party tests positive after attending rally
- France says Ligue 1, Ligue 2 football matches will be ‘behind closed doors’ until April 15
- Iran announces its highest daily death toll — 54 more victims.
- European Parliament president says he’ll work from home for 14 days.
- President Xi Jingping visits Wuhan epicentre as China outbreak eases
COVID-19 has so far infected 113,255 and killed 3,964. More than 62,000 have recovered.