A second MP has gone into self-isolation amid growing coronavirus fears in Westminster.
Rachael Maskell, the Labour and Co-operative representative for York Central, announced she was taking the measure on Wednesday morning after coming into contact with coronavirus-positive health minister Nadine Dorries.
Dorries, the Tory representative for Mid-Bedfordshire, was the first MP to become infected with coronavirus.
Maskell posted on Twitter:
NHS111 have advised that I self-isolate as a result of a meeting I had with the Government's Mental Health Minister last Thursday who has subsequently tested positive for Coronovirus. Thankfully I am asymptomatic. It is so important that we all follow all public health advice.— Rachael Maskell MP (@RachaelMaskell) March 11, 2020
Maskell later told the PA news agency: “I’m absolutely fine, obviously it’s frustrating because there are things I want to get on with.
“I’m just planning on making more phone calls, more working online. I’m not going to be bored, put it that way.”
The agency also reported that Dorries had sent a WhatsApp message to Tory MPs saying a member of her staff was ill.
It raises questions as to whether the coronavirus has begun circulating around Parliament, though there are no plans to test any ministers, including Boris Johnson.
The Department of Health said Dorries first exhibited symptoms on Thursday, the same day she attended a Downing Street event hosted by the prime minister to mark International Women’s Day.
Johnson is understood not to have exhibited symptoms and not to have come into close contact with Dorries.
In a statement on Tuesday night, Dorries said: “As soon as I was informed I took all the advised precautions and have been self-isolating at home.
“Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice.”
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She later tweeted thanks to her well-wishers, posting:
Thanks for so many good wishes. It’s been pretty rubbish but I hope I’m over the worst of it now. More worried about my 84yo mum who is staying with me and began with the cough today. She is being tested tomorrow. Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.— Nadine Dorries 🇬🇧 (@NadineDorries) March 10, 2020
The news came after the number of cases in the UK rose to 382, and a sixth death in the UK was confirmed on Tuesday.