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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus

Prince Charles has gone into isolation along with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

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The heir to the throne, 71, is displaying “mild symptoms” of the COVID-19 illness but is in good health and spirits as he self isolates at Birkhall in Scotland, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Camilla, 72, who is also at Birkhall, in Aberdeenshire, has tested negative for the virus, so is separating herself from the prince.

Doctors believe the future king became contagious on March 13 – the day after he last saw his mother, the Queen.

Buckingham Palace said the 93-year-old monarch, who is already staying at Windsor Castle with the 98-year-old Duke of Edinburgh in order to protect against coronavirus, also remains in good health and is following all appropriate advice.

Philip was not with the Queen at Buckingham Palace when she last met Charles on March 12.

Charles has spoken to both his sons William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is in Norfolk with his wife Kate and their young children, and Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who is in Canada.

He has also been in touch with the Queen.

Charles is the latest high-profile figure to reveal a COVID-19 diagnosis. He joins a growing list of celebrities, athletes and other famous people who been tested for the novel coronavirus, even when they didn’t have a fever or other severe tell-tale symptoms.

That has fueled the perception that the wealthy and famous have been able to jump to the head of the line to get tested while others have been turned away or met with long delays.

Charles and Camilla’s tests were carried out by the National Health Service in Scotland.

Scientists, public health and frontline medical staff officials have urged Britain to ramp up the number of people being tested for the virus. Currently the vast majority of people with mild symptoms are not being tested.

The government says it tested 6,491 people on Tuesday and hopes to increase that to 25,000 tests a day within three weeks.

A member of the Scottish Parliament, Joan McAlpine, expressed surprise that Charles was tested. McAlpine, a legislator with Scotland’s governing Scottish National Party wished Charles a speedy recovery, but wondered aloud whether he had received special treatment.

“Given that his symptoms are said to be mild, like many I wonder how he was tested when many NHS and social care workers cannot get tested,” she said on Twitter. “My nephew, who has serious asthma and a chest infection was recently refused a test.”

The website of the National Health Service in Scotland said that in general people will be tested if they “have a serious illness that requires admission to hospital.”

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood defended the test.

“From the information I’ve been given it’s clear he was tested for clinical reasons,” she said. “And I’m pleased also that he is well and as with many people who have had this virus he has had a mild illness.”

Prince’s busy diary under spotlight

The prince’s last public engagement was on March 12 when he attended a dinner in aid of the Australian Bushfire Appeal in London.

He later had a number of private meetings with Highgrove and Duchy individuals, all of whom have been made aware of the situation.

On March 10, he was with Monaco’s head of state Prince Albert II, who has since tested positive for coronavirus.

Charles is not believed to have shaken hands with Prince Albert but attended a roundtable meeting with him at the WaterAid Summit in London on that day.

The prince was pictured practising namastes instead of handshakes at his public events, including when the royals gathered for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, and a Prince’s Trust event on March 11.

“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual,” Clarence House said.

“In accordance with government and medical advice, the prince and the duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland.

“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks.”

A source said his doctor’s most conservative estimate was the prince was contagious on March 13.

A small number of people living and working at Birkhall remain at the residence and are self-isolating.

The source said the prince was up and about and not bedridden.

Medical advice is that it is unlikely to escalate into a more serious case.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health.

“The Queen last saw the Prince of Wales briefly after the investiture on the morning of March 12 and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare.”

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent his “best wishes” to the prince in a tweet.

“Coronavirus can affect any of us and we must stay strong together in the fight against it,” he wrote.

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