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Cabinet minister self-isolating despite negative test for coronavirus

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she is following advice after coming into contact with Health Minister Nadine Dorries.

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International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is self-isolating after being in contact with Health Minister Nadine Dorries (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is self-isolating after being in contact with Health Minister Nadine Dorries (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is self-isolating after being in contact with Health Minister Nadine Dorries (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

A Cabinet minister has said she is following the advice of doctors and self-isolating after coming into contact with health minister Nadine Dorries, who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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

She was among a growing list of MPs who were in self-isolation for either coming into contact with someone diagnosed with the disease or because they themselves are expressing symptoms.

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

Coronavvirus
Health Mminister Nadine Dorries was the first MP to be diagnosed with coronavirus (Steve Parsons/PA)

But, unlike the Prime Minister, she is understood to have come into “particularly close contact” with Ms Dorries, having shared a hug and been together for an extended period.

A spokesman for Ms 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.”

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

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

Her move came after the PM introduced new measures to protect the elderly and vulnerable from the Covid-19 sickness.

Anyone with even mild symptoms, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, must stay home for seven days.

He said that more severe measures – such as entire households staying home if one member has been taken ill – may be introduced in the future.

Hi everyone. Following a conversation I had with an infected colleague last week, Public Health England have advised me...

Posted by Alex Chalk on Thursday, March 12, 2020

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 Ms Dorries.

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

Mr 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 on Friday that he would also be self-isolating and will arrange any necessary tests.

“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.

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

Tory MPs Andrew Bridgen and Ruth Edwards have confirmed they were self-isolating while their colleague Sir Charles Walker was reportedly taking the same measure.

The SNP’s Dr Lisa Cameron said in the early hours of Friday that she was told to self-isolate by an out-of-hours doctor.

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.”

PA