Michael Gove self-isolating after member of his family gets coronavirus symptoms

MICHAEL Gove is today self-isolating after a member of his family developed coronavirus symptoms.

The Cabinet minister is well and working from home, after the PM was rushed into intensive care last night.

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The Cabinet Secretary has no symptoms but is isolating for the time being.

He tweeted this morning: "Many thanks for kind messages. In accordance with the guidance, I am isolating at home after a member of my family started to display mild symptoms of coronavirus on Sunday.

"I have not displayed any symptoms and am continuing to work as normal."

Mr Gove did a round of morning broadcasts this morning from his home, rather than come into the studios.

The news will be another headache for the Government as it tries to cope without the PM in the coming days.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer were off with the virus too, but have now come back to work.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has not developed any symptoms – despite sitting near to Boris and the Health Secretary at PMQs on the week they both fell ill.

Mr Johnson was taken to hospital for tests on Sunday evening – after his GP saw him on a Zoom video call, the Daily Mail reports.

His condition worsened over the course of Monday, and doctors made the decision to transfer him to intensive care around 7pm on Monday evening.

A No 10 spokesman said "Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.

"Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.

"The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.

"The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication."

Mr Gove insisted this morning that Cabinet would take collective decisions on any urgent Government business – and they will discuss ending or extending the lockdown in the coming days.

Mr Raab, who is set to take over some responsibilities from the PM now he's too unwell to work, is going to chair meetings in his place.

But it's unclear exactly what role and how much power he will have.

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This morning Michael Gove said it was a "huge shock" that Boris' condition had got worse.

He told Good Morning Britain:  "We are hoping and praying he pulls through.

"It was a shock yesterday to hear the news of his going into intensive care.

"All of us just want him to pull through.

"He is a big hearted, generous spirited guy, we are rooting for him."

He insisted that the PM had wanted to keep going and working throughout his illness because "he loves this country".

He told BBC Breakfast: "The PM loves this country, he wants to do his very, very best for us.

"That is one of the reasons why he has been sure he has been involved in all the decision making and all the meetings."

But he stressed he has stripped back his diary in recent days and been taking all the medical advice he was given.

Any decisions that need to be taken will be done collectively in a group, he added, and the lockown would be reviewed by the team "in good time" – with or without the PM.

"As the PM’s case so powerfully reminds us, this disease can hit any of us," he said.

He was not aware whether the PM had developed pneumonia.

This morning Boris' former director of communications and friend, Will Walden, stressed the PM was a "really, really strong guy" and "far fitter than he looks".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He will whip anybody's backside on a tennis court, he runs regularly, he doesn't smoke, he drinks moderately.

"So I think if anyone is in a good position both physically and mentally to fight off the disease then the Prime Minister is that person."

Mr Walden said he had been in touch with Mr Johnson a couple of times in the last fortnight, adding: "I had a brief exchange with him last week in which I was more concerned about him being in isolation and what he said back to me was 'don't worry, we're going to beat it'.

"What he meant by that, which is typical of Boris, is we as a country will come together and beat this disease, rather than thinking about himself in regard to that – and that's pretty typical of the man."


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