Labour’s Kate Osborne becomes second MP to test positive for coronavirus
Labour’s Kate Osborne has become the second MP to test positive for coronavirus as Parliament gets set to debate emergency legislation to help combat the outbreak.
She revealed the news on Twitter on Monday morning, saying she had already been in self-isolation, and will now remain quarantined until she has “fought off the illness”.
Her diagnosis follows health minister Nadine Dorries, who was the first MP to test positive for Covid-19 last week.
A number of other politicians are in self-isolation, including the Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who said on Friday she had tested negative for the virus but will stay home for a week as a precaution.
And from Monday visitor access to the House of Commons is being restricted, but business in the chamber is set to go ahead as usual.
MPs are expected to approve the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, giving police the powers to force people into quarantine or be taken into custody and given a £1,000 fine.
Ms Osborne, the recently-elected member for Jarrow, tweeted: “I have been diagnosed with Coronavirus following a period of self-isolation and subsequent testing.
“I will continue to self-isolate until I have fought off the illness, but in the meantime I would encourage everyone to band together and support the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The former Royal Mail worker is calling for anybody experiencing symptoms to self-isolate too, but said she and her staff will still be available for constituents to contact.
Her diagnosis comes as Boris Johnson is set to hold daily press conferences outlining his response to the crisis amid criticism of the Government's communications strategy.
The Prime Minister will appear on television alongside senior ministers and scientific and medical experts including the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister and this Government are committed to keeping the public informed every step of the way about what we’re doing to fight the spread of coronavirus, when we’re doing it and why we’re doing it.
"At all times we will be led by the science to bring forward the right responses at the right time to this global pandemic."
Mr Johnson will also chair another meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee on Monday, with discussions set to centre around isolating the elderly and vulnerable and banning mass gatherings of people.