Mar 10, 2020 - Health

U.K. health minister tests positive for coronavirus

Nadine Dorries. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

United Kingdom Health Minister Nadine Dorries announced in a statement that she tested positive for the coronavirus and is now in isolation, per the BBC.

Why it matters: Dorries reportedly came into contact with hundreds of people since developing symptoms last week — including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Times first reported. The U.K. currently has 373 confirmed cases and six deaths, per Johns Hopkins University. Dorries is the first known member of Parliament to test positive for COVID-19.

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Italy quarantines 16M as northern region placed on coronavirus lockdown

Tourists on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, on Friday. Photo: Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree Saturday putting much of the country's north — including Venice and Milan — on lockdown Saturday to try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Italy has the largest number of cases in Europe — 5,883 by early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins University data. At least 16 million people are now in mandatory quarantine in the Lombardy region, along with 14 provinces, the BBC notes. Among those to test positive is the head of Italy’s Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, per Bloomberg.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 8, 2020 - Health

Sen. Maria Cantwell staffer tests positive for the coronavirus

Sen. Maria Cantwell at the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A staffer in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is in insolation after displaying symptoms of the novel coronavirus for which they subsequently tested positive, a statement released Wednesday night confirms. The office is now serving constituents remotely.

Why it matters: This is the first known case of a congressional staffer becoming infected with the virus. "The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 has had no known contact with the senator or other members of Congress," the statement notes. "The senator is requesting that testing be done on any other staffers who have been in contact with the individual and show symptoms."

Go deeper: Lawmakers self-quarantine after contact with confirmed coronavirus cases

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the case.

Boris Johnson: Coronavirus outbreak in U.K. is only weeks behind Italy

Photo: Julian Simmonds/WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Sunday that a surge of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks could cripple the country's National Health Service (NHS), Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Johnson said the U.K., in terms of cases, is only "a matter of weeks — two or three — behind Italy," which overtook China last week as the country with the most reported deaths from the virus.

Go deeperArrowMar 22, 2020 - World