British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first major world leader to come down with the virus.
“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” he said in a statement via Twitter. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.”
The announcement included a video in which Johnson explained that he had taken the test after coming down with a fever and “persistent cough.”
Earlier this month, the prime minister had brushed off the coronavirus and the necessity of social distancing, telling reporters that he was still “shaking hands.”
“I was at a hospital the other night where I think a few there were actually coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you’ll be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands,” he said.