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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

The prime minister is in self-isolation, and said he had developed 'mild symptoms.'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus. He made the announcement early Friday on Twitter. 

"Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," he wrote. "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus." 

In a video, Boris praised the "amazing national effort by public services" and the national effort by the British public volunteering to fight the virus. 

"I want to thank everybody who's working to keep our country going through this epidemic. And we will get through it." 

Johnson continued to encourage the British public to stay home and practice social distancing, using his hashtag #StayHomeSaveLives

The government said that if Johnson is unable to work, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will replace him.

Johnson has met in person with some senior ministers and officials this week, and has appeared at press conferences alongside his top medical and scientific advisers.

Earlier this week, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II's son and the heir to the British throne, also announced he had tested positive for the new virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19.