Another cabinet minister self-isolates over coronavirus concerns

PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:37 13 March 2020

Boris Johnson (centre), alongside new Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (second right), Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill (second left), Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey (right) and Health Secretary Matt Hancock (left). Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Boris Johnson (centre), alongside new Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (second right), Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill (second left), Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey (right) and Health Secretary Matt Hancock (left). Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Another cabinet minister has self-isolated following the advice of doctors after coming into contact with health minister Nadine Dorries, who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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International development secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said that she has tested negative for the virus, but will stay at home for seven days as a precaution.

Two other Tory MPs announced they are in self-isolation, one after coming into contact with Dorries and the other saying he had exhibited some symptoms.

Trevelyan was with Dorries at the International Women's Day event hosted by Boris Johnson in Downing Street on March 5.

But, unlike the prime minister, she is understood to have come into 'particularly close contact' with Dorries, having shared a hug and been together for an extended period.


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A spokesman for Trevelyan said the test 'came back negative' on Friday morning, adding: 'On the advice of doctors, she is self-isolating for a further seven days as a precaution.'

Dorries said she started feeling unwell on the same day she attended Number 10 but did not develop a cough until the following morning.

Trevelyan, who is understood not to be exhibiting any symptoms, was planning to continue working from home remotely.

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Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk is self-isolating after he said he was contacted by Public Health England (PHE) officials who were carrying out 'contact tracing' over Dorries.

He said he and a 'number of other MPs' had been contacted by PHE, with his contact with Dorries being in the library last week.

Chalk said he would stay in London rather than return to his constituency but that he would continue working while 'completely asymptomatic' and feeling as 'fit as a flea'.

Hazel Grove MP William Wragg said after the PM's announcement he would also be self-isolating.

'Given symptoms that have developed today, I'm following the up-to-date medical advice and will isolate myself for the next week,' he tweeted.

'I will be using the NHS website to seek further advice and arrange to undertake any necessary tests.'

Health minister Edward Argar was also self-isolating 'as a precaution' after having lunch with Dorries, as was Labour MP Rachael Maskell, who also met Dorries on March 5.

The government and the Commons Speaker were aiming to keep parliament open, but the situation was being kept under review while contingency plans were being drawn up.

A parliament spokeswoman said: 'Parliamentary authorities are also developing contingency plans and considering what precautionary steps we might take to ensure the continuity of parliamentary business.

'Regular meetings are taking place daily to assess the situation, attended by senior figures from across the parliamentary estate.'

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