The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have both tested positive for COVID-19.
In a tweet, Mr Johnson said he had “developed mild symptoms” over the past few days and has now tested positive.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
Together we will beat this. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/9Te6aFP0Ri
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
He said he is now working from home and self-isolating.
“That is entirely the right thing to do - but be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team and to lead the national fightback against coronavirus,” he said.
He took the opportunity to thank front-line workers fighting the virus and praised the "amazing effort from the public service” and the 600,000 people who have volunteered to help in the UK.
“I want to thank everyone who is helping our country get through this epidemic.
“We will get though it and the way we are going to get through it is, of course, by applying the measures that you have heard so much about.
“The more effectively we all comply with those measures, the faster our country will come through this epidemic and the faster we will bounce back.
“So, thank you to everybody who is working from home to stop the spread of the virus from household to household. That is the way we are going to win. We are going to beat it and we are going to beat it together.
“Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Meanwhile, Mr Hancock also tweeted to say he has now tested positive.
His symptoms are also said to be mild, and he is now self-isolating at home.
He said: "From next Thursday, once I'm out of self-isolation and - I hope - with no more symptoms, then I'll be able to get back into the office where necessary.
"But the truth is that all of us can learn working from home can be really, really effective."
Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.
I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.
Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives#StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/TguWH6Blij
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) March 27, 2020
As of yesterday, there were 11,658 confirmed cases of the virus in the UK.
Some 578 patients have died.
Yesterday, the HSE confirmed ten more deaths in the Republic of Ireland – bringing the total to 19.
There have been 1,819 confirmed cases of the virus here.