Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus
LONDON: Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth II, is showing mild symptoms of the new coronavirus and is selfisolating in Scotland, his office said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the country’s response to tackling the outbreak.
The 71-year-old Prince of Wales is staying on his mother’s sprawling Balmoral estate in Scotland, but “otherwise remains in good health”.
His wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, tested negative, Clarence House said in a statement.
The disclosure about the future king, whose age puts him in the mostrisk category for the disease, came as Britain said there were more than 8,000 cases of COVID-19 and 422 deaths. The government on Monday ordered a three-week lockdown of the country to cut close-contact transmission, to slow the rate of infection and reduce the burden on healthcare services.
Government advice is for the elderly and most vulnerable, including those with underlying health issues, to stay at home, and anyone displaying symptoms to selfisolate for seven days.
Clarence House said doctors believe Charles became contagious on March 13 — a day after last meeting his mother.
The 93-year-old queen has been staying with her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, 640 miles (820 kilometres) south of Balmoral, since March 19.
Given their age — and Prince Philip’s stay in hospital at Christmas — the prince’s diagnosis prompted questions about their potential exposure to the virus.
But a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health.”
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 20,000 people worldwide, most of them in Europe, according to an AFP tally.
A total of 20,334 deaths were reported, of which 13,581 were in Europe. With 7,503 deaths, Italy is the most affected country ahead of Spain with 3,434 and China with 3,281, the country where the initial outbreak occurred.