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10 March 2020
The health minister Nadine Dorries says she has tested positive for Covid, prompting concerns over the virus spreading at Westminster and even Downing Street, where she attended a reception the previous week.
Rishi Sunak delivers the budget in a crowded House of Commons chamber, pledging billions to tackle the pandemic
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, meets Boris Johnson in Downing Street at 8pm with his team members Seumas Milne and Jon Ashworth to speak about the coronavirus bill. Milne later falls ill.
More senior politicians are diagnosed with Covid including the EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. The UK’s Brexit negotiator, David Frost, self-isolates.
The prime minister announces the first national lockdown.
Johnson leads prime minister’s questions with a depleted number of MPs but with staffers and press still in the gallery. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, is seen in close contact with the Commons Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle.
Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus.
Hancock and Johnson test positive. Chris Whitty self-isolates along with many of his team. Johnson’s chief of staff, Dominic Cummings, leaves No 10 for Durham after his wife develops symptoms.
The cabinet secretary, Mark Sedwill, is ill and self-isolates, though he insists to staff he will continue to lead the response to the outbreak.
Hancock returns from self-isolation and resumes work. Johnson makes an appearance to applaud NHS workers from Downing Street, but looks unwell. Doctors are concerned the prime minister is entering a dangerous phase where symptoms do not alleviate by week two and preparations are made for a bed for him at St Thomas’ hospital.
The prime minister releases a video saying he is on the mend and has one remaining symptom. No 10 denies his condition is worsening. His fiancee, Carrie Symonds, becomes deeply concerned and is said by friends to have urged action.
Johnson is taken to hospital after days of persistent symptoms and given oxygen.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, claims the prime minister is still “leading”. Johnson’s condition worsens significantly and at 8.10pm No 10 announces he is in critical care. Downing Street is told there is a 50-50 chance of him being put on a ventilator.
The Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, announces he is self-isolating. Raab gives the daily press briefing, saying the prime minister is “stable overnight, he’s receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any assistance”.
Johnson is moved out of ICU and continues to receive “close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery”. Raab describes him as being in “extremely good spirits”.
Johnson is discharged from hospital seven days after being admitted and travels to his country residence, Chequers, to recuperate. In a video message, he says: “The NHS has saved my life, no question … Though the struggle is by no means over, we are now making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus.” Meanwhile, Cummings sets out on an eyesight-testing trip to Barnard Castle.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: How Covid spread through Westminster’s corridors of power – timeline | World news