Boris Johnson‘s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds is in self-isolation today and has posted a picture on Instagram of herself cuddling the couple’s dog Dilyn as it emerged the Prime Minister has coronavirus.
Ms Symonds, 32, who is around six months pregnant with the baby due in the early summer, has left Mr Johnson in Downing Street and has not seen her 55-year-old partner for the ‘last few days’.
In a new Instagram post from the couple’s £1.3million South London home Carrie looked happy and healthy as she snuggled with Dilyn and said: ‘Self-isolating isn’t so bad with this one’.
She now faces an anxious wait to see if she has been exposed to coronavirus because Mr Johnson could have been contagious for up to a fortnight before he developed symptoms yesterday.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman today refused to comment on Carrie’s whereabouts, health or whether she has been tested too.
But Telegraph commentator Camilla Tominey, a friend of Carrie’s, told ITV’s This Morning: ‘She’s in Camberwell with Dilyn the dog so she will not have any contact with the prime minister over the last few days’.
It came 24 hours after the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) changed its coronavirus guidance to say viral infections can ‘occasionally be related to more severe symptoms and this will be the same for Covid-19’, adding: ‘Women above 28 weeks’ gestation should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising contact with others.’
Carrie Symonds is self isolating with Dilyn after the PM got coronavirus and told Instagram followers:’Self-isolating isn’t so bad with this one’
Pregnant Carrie Symonds is in self-isolation after her fiance Boris Johnson fell ill with coronavirus (pictured together on March 9 at Westminster Abbey)
Are pregnant women more vulnerable to coronavirus?
There is no evidence that pregnant women become more severely unwell if they develop coronavirus than the general population.
It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms because more severe symptoms such as pneumonia appear to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions.
There are no reported deaths of pregnant women from coronavirus at the moment.
If you are pregnant you are more vulnerable to getting infections than a woman who is not pregnant, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
If you have an underlying condition, such as asthma or diabetes, you may be more unwell if you have coronavirus because is poses a higher risk to those with underlying health conditions.
In terms of risk to the baby, there is no evidence right now to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage or transmission to the unborn baby via the womb or breast milk.
Some babies born to women with symptoms of coronavirus in China have been born prematurely. It is unclear whether coronavirus caused this or the doctors made the decision for the baby to be born early because the woman was unwell.
Guidance updated on Thursday from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says viral infections can ‘occasionally be related to more severe symptoms and this will be the same for Covid-19’.
It says that, while the risks are small overall, health professionals should look out for more severe symptoms of Covid-19 in pregnant women who test positive, such as pneumonia and a lack of oxygen.
But the RCOG said the current expert opinion is that unborn babies are unlikely to be exposed to Covid-19 during pregnancy.
There is also no data at the moment suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage for pregnant women.
The RCOG reiterates Government advice that pregnant women ‘should pay particular attention to avoiding contact with people who are known to have Covid-19 or those who exhibit possible symptoms’.
It adds: ‘Women above 28 weeks’ gestation should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising contact with others.’
But the RCOG said the current expert opinion is that unborn babies are unlikely to be exposed to Covid-19 during pregnancy – and there is no data at the moment suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage for pregnant women.
Carrie and Boris bought their Victorian four-bedroom home in Camberwell, south London for £1.3million last July, when he became Prime Minister.
Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said: ‘It is public knowledge that the Prime Minister’s partner is pregnant, and so a confirmed Covid-19 infection does give some concern around the health of mother and baby.
‘It is reassuring that so far there have been few noted complications during pregnancy of infection with Covid-19.
‘However, this is an emerging evidence base, so the health services will be cautious with the welfare of all expectant mothers and any associated risks.’
Downing Street today only hinted that the PM’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds is not living with Mr Johnson in Downing Street at present.
Asked whether Ms Symonds is also living in their flat above Number 11, the PM’s official spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister of course follows all of the guidelines which have been issued by Public Health England in full.
‘His circumstance is such that he will be required to self-isolate for seven days.’
The spokesman said meals and work would be left at the door of the Prime Minister’s flat.
Earlier this month Mr Johnson and England’s chief medical doctor Professor Chris Whitty announced pregnant women should follow the same advice as the over-70s and people with underlying conditions by self-isolating at home for 12 weeks at least.
The Prime Minister, 55, was tested for coronavirus in Number 10 after experiencing mild symptoms on Thursday.
In a video on his Twitter account, Mr Johnson said he had developed a temperature and a persistent cough.
He added: ‘I’m working from home and self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do.
‘But, be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.
‘I want to thank everybody involved and, of course, our amazing NHS staff.’
A Downing Street spokeswoman said the PM was tested on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
She added: ‘The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.
‘In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.
‘He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.’
The couple, pictured on election night in December, adopted a rescue puppy named Dilyn, who is with Carrie as she spends at least another week away from Boris
This four-bedroom, three-storey red brick Victorian terraced house in south London (above) is the £1.3m love nest bought Boris Johnson and his PR exec partner Carrie Symonds last July
The couple’s new home – in a trendy part of south London overlooking a park – features two receptions rooms (pictured), four double bedrooms and two bathrooms and ground floor toilet
Earlier in the week it was announced that the Prince of Wales was also suffering ‘mild symptoms’ of the disease.
The PM announced measures to protect pregnant women earlier this month. Among his recommendations were for particularly vulnerable people to stay indoors for 12 weeks.
The ‘period of shielding’ has been implemented at a time where there will be maximum protection, coinciding with the peak of the disease.
He said: ‘In a few days time, by this coming weekend it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks.
‘Again, the reason for doing this in the next few days rather than earlier or later is that this is going to be very disruptive for people who have such conditions.
‘This advice about avoiding all social contact is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions.’
England’s chief medical doctor Professor Chris Whitty said extending the advice to pregnant women was a precaution.
He said: ‘The group of people who we would want to take this advice particularly seriously are older people above 70, people who in adult life would normally be advised to have the flu vaccination, so these are people with chronic diseases such as chronic heart disease or chronic kidney disease, and also – as a precautionary measure because we are early in our understanding and we want to be sure – women who are pregnant.
‘Those are the groups we want to take particular care to minimise their social contact which of course will have very significant risks for them.’
Social media users expressed their confusion over the measures to ‘protect’ pregnant women announcec earlier this month