Politicians in the UK have recently felt a wave of coronavirus infections sweep through their ranks, with the country’s highest officials coming down with the virus. Several cabinet members have fallen ill with COVID-19, begging the question of what happens if they all become infected.
What happens if the whole cabinet gets infected?
So far, at least three of Boris Johnson’s cabinet have come down with coronavirus.
Amongst those who fell ill were the Prime Minister himself and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
They immediately self-isolated per government coronavirus guidelines.
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The two figures are regarded as pivotal in the national response to COVID-19 and did not stop working.
Instead, they continued their duties digitally during self-isolation.
If COVID-19 swept through the rest of the cabinet, they would likely do the same, with those unable to work replaced by their closest healthy deputy.
Although Mr Hancock and Mr Johnson continued to work, the coronavirus prevented them from briefing the UK.
Neither official was able to deliver the Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, which updates the nation on the fight against COVID-19.
While they have taken to self-isolation, cabinet officials have delivered the daily briefing on rotation.
Mr Hancock led the briefing today (April 2) after spending one week in isolation, but the Prime Minister is yet to return.
He is still experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is due to leave quarantine on Friday.
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However, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said he would remain in self-isolation until his symptoms subside.
The spokesman said: “What the guidelines say is that if you still have a high temperature, for example, you should keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal.
“The guidance is that you should stay at home for seven days or for longer if a high temperature persists.”
Although the Prime Minister has followed government guidelines in staying out of public view, he has received criticism for not abiding by Ministry of Defence (MOD) warnings.
He carried out the Government’s first digital cabinet meeting on Wednesday via the conference app Zoom.
The platform has recently attracted attention from so-called “Zoombombers” who hijack streams and replace them with pornographic videos of profanity, leading the Ministry of Defence to ban the usage of the app.
The MoD asked staff to stop using Zoom while it investigated “security implications”, and a source called the continued government usage “astounding”.
Ther MoD told Sky News: “It is astounding that thousands of MoD staff have been banned from using Zoom only to find a sensitive government meeting like that of the prime minister’s cabinet is being conducted over it.”
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