What challenges do Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds face amid the coronavirus outbreak?

7 April 2020, 17:49

Symonds normally lives in a flat above Number 11 with the prime minister
Symonds normally lives in a flat above Number 11 with the prime minister. Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

Boris Johnson is currently in hospital in "good spirits" since being rushed to intensive care yesterday as his Covid-19 symptoms deteriorated, but what about his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds?

Mr Johnson's biographer says she can only imagine the agony of Ms Symonds who herself has had to self-isolate after displaying symptoms of the virus herself.

Relatives are unable to visit family members with the virus in hospital due to the government's containment measures. But the PM has barely been able to see Ms Symonds since he fell ill.

Speaking to Sky News, biographer Sonia Purnell said: "This is a horrible, horrible situation, just ghastly.

"You can't even accompany your loved one in the hospital. I can only imagine the agony of Carrie Symonds, his fiancee, who as we know is due to give birth in the early summer.

"This is a nightmare all round and also a nightmare for the whole country."

Who is Carrie Symonds?

Carrie Symonds is a senior advisor to ocean conservation charity Oceana and previously served as head of communications for the Conservative Party headquarters.

She is the first unmarried partner of a prime minister to reside in Number 10 Downing Street.

When did she meet Boris Johnson?

The pair reportedly began a relationship in 2018.

They announced their engagement on February 29, 2020 and are expecting a baby in mid-2020.

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When did Boris get Covid-19?

Mr Johnson, 55, was taken to St Thomas' Hospital on Sunday after his Covid-19 symptoms had not cleared.

It was announced yesterday they worsened still and he suffered breathing difficulties. He has since released a statement that this was a "precautionary measure".

He tested positive for the disease 11 days ago but a day before he announced his own diagnosis, Ms Symonds posted a photograph of herself in isolation.

Police officers are seen outside St Thomas' Hospital on April 7, 2020
Police officers are seen outside St Thomas' Hospital on April 7, 2020. Picture: Getty

Does Carrie have coronavirus?

She wrote on Sunday that having the virus while pregnant was "obviously worrying". But she shared an information page for other pregnant women which she found "reassuring".

Writing on Twitter, the 32-year-old said: "I haven't needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I'm on the mend.

"Being pregnant with Covid-19 is obviously worrying. To other pregnant women, please do read and follow the most up to date guidance which I found to be very reassuring."

What is the advice for pregnant women during the Covid-19 outbreak?

The virus is not thought to pose any special danger to pregnant women, so far.

But they are advised to be particularly careful to take suggested precautions such as hand washing and social distancing.

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, it is expected the large majority of pregnant women will only experience mild or moderate cold/flu-like symptoms.

If you feel your symptoms are worsening or if you are not getting better you should contact your maternity care team or use the NHS 111 online service / NHS 24 for further information and advice.