A top adviser to the UK government in the country’s coronavirus response believes he has caught the disease, confirming he had been in meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior officials before developing symptoms.
Neil Ferguson is head of the modelling program at Imperial College London’s center for global infectious disease analysis, and it was his team’s research that prompted the UK government to impose more restrictive measures to slow the virus’ spread.
Ferguson announced his possible infection on Twitter, and told the BBC’s Radio 4 program that just days before he had been in touch with the Prime Minister and the country’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
“I’ve been in so many meetings in the last few weeks and a number of my colleagues from other universities who’ve been advising government in those meetings have also developed symptoms,” he told the BBC.
He said he had not had contact with anyone in the 12 hours prior to the onset of his symptoms, so it is possible he was not infectious at the time of his meetings with officials.
He added that he wasn’t surprised to have developed coronavirus symptoms, adding that central London was a hotspot.