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Health minister Nadine Dorries in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus

Nadine Dorries

Health minister Nadine Dorries in self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus

UK Government health minister Nadine Dorries has become the first MP to test positive for coronavirus.

The patient safety minister confirmed she was "self-isolating at home" following the diagnosis.

Six people in the UK have died as a result of the virus and 382 cases have now been confirmed.

Dorries said in a statement: "I can confirm I have tested positive for coronavirus.

"As soon as I was informed I took all the advised precautions and have been self-isolating at home.

"Public Health England (PHE) has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice.

"I would like to thank PHE and the wonderful NHS staff who have provided me with advice and support."

And she said in a tweet:  "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."

The Times reports that Dorries fell ill last Friday, with officials now trying to trace all those with whom Dorries may have been in contact.

The minister attended a Downing Street reception hosted by Boris Johnson last Thursday, a conference outside Westminster, and also held a constituency surgery with 50 attendees.

She twice voted in the House of Commons in the past week.

A government source told the paper: "As with everything, we are being guided by the science on this. This will be treated like any other standard case. Officials are conducting the standard process of contact tracing and identifying anyone who has shown symptoms."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We all wish her well as she recovers.

"I understand why people are worried about this disease. We will do all we can to keep people safe, based on the best possible science."

The confirmation of Dorries' diagnosis comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak prepares to deliver a Budget that is expected to focus heavily on the response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Sunak has promised that the NHS will get "whatever resources it needs" to combat the threat, while businesses and workers affected by the spread of the virus are in line for government help.

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