Britain’s Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth II, is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19, but “otherwise remains in good health,” his office said yesterday.
The 71-year-old and his wife, Camilla, who does not have coronavirus, are currently self-isolating in Scotland, Clarence House said.
“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus,” it said in a statement, using his official title. “He has been displaying mild symptoms, but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.”
“The Duchess of Cornwall [Camilla] has also been tested, but does not have the virus,” it said. “In accordance with government and medical advice, the prince and the duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland.”
The couple were tested by the National Health Service (NHS) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, it said.
“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks,” the office added.
Meanwhile, the British government was planning to shut down Parliament for four weeks from last night in the latest attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The UK outbreak is most advanced in London and several politicians have fallen ill, including a health minister.
Parliament had been scheduled to break for Easter on Tuesday next week, but the House of Commons was to close yesterday if — as expected — lawmakers voted for the move, British officials said.
The Commons would reopen on April 21, they said.
The UK’s decision puts it ahead of other countries’ parliaments. While Italy, Germany and Spain have distancing measures in place and only allow limited numbers into their main debating chambers, they have stopped short of closing parliaments altogether.
The move to shut parliament follows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to put the UK on lockdown, ordering people to stay at home unless essential for work, closing schools, restaurants and shops, and banning public gatherings.
However, Johnson’s strategy has been called into question, with some critics saying it does not go far enough.
Construction workers have been going to work on project sites as normal and packed London Underground trains prompted concerns that passengers would be spreading the disease.
Johnson has also faced calls for an urgent acceleration in the program of testing people for the virus.
The government said that it is acceptable for construction work to continue, if workers stand at least 2m apart to reduce the risk of contagion.
“If you can work from home you must do so. If you can’t work from home then you can go into work,” British Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick told the BBC’s Breakfast program yesterday. “A number of employers have concluded that they can’t follow the Public Health England guidance and have chosen to shut down their sites.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said early data showed passenger numbers on the Underground had fallen significantly — down one-third on Tuesday’s levels.
He said tube passenger numbers were already 88 percent down yesterday compared with the same day last year and bus ridership was 76 percent lower.
“However, we still need more Londoners to do the right thing and stay at home,” Khan said.
Almost one-third of London transport staff are sick or self-isolating, he added.
In other news, about 170,000 people signed up within hours of a British government call for volunteers to help those stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said yesterday.
Hancock on Monday unveiled a plan to create a 250,000-strong volunteer force to help deliver groceries and medicines to the most vulnerable people instructed by the government to self-isolate.
This is larger than Britain’s armed forces, which currently stand at just more than 192,000.
“We’re delighted that overnight 170,000 people have signed up to volunteer to support our NHS tackling coronavirus,” Hancock tweeted.
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable