Michael Gove's daughter given 'special permission' for coronavirus test

13 April 2020, 14:17

Michael Gove's daughter was given special permission for a coronavirus test
Michael Gove's daughter was given special permission for a coronavirus test. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The daughter of Cabinet Minister Michael Gove was granted "special permission" to be tested for coronavirus - despite thousands of NHS workers having to wait.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was first questioned about the matter after being spotted out in public jogging on Easter Sunday after his 17-year-old daughter began showing symptoms just six days before.

Under current government rules anyone in self-isolation should take exercise within their home, and Mr Gove should have been in self-isolation for at least 14 days after his daughter became symptomatic.

His spokesperson said Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty granted special permission for her to be tested just 24 hours after first showing symptoms.

It is reported Mr Gove told Mr Whitty that by testing her, he would be able to return to work despite him working from home for a number of weeks - just as tens of thousands are doing across the rest of the nation.

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Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is said to have granted permission for her to be tested
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is said to have granted permission for her to be tested. Picture: PA

According to MailOnline, she was then tested on Tuesday and the results came back on Wednesday afternoon.

Defending his actions, Mr Gove said "household isolation rules no longer applied to the family" after she tested negative for the virus.

The news has angered those calling for more testing to be carried out, especially for frontline NHS staff who are either unwell at home and having to self isolate, or those who may be carrying it and unknowingly passing it onto patients.

Testing in the UK is not currently widespread, and patients are only being tested after being admitted to hospital.

NHS staff are now able to go to drive-thru testing centres across the UK.

In a statement on Monday, the Prime Minister's spokesperson said 42,812 NHS staff and their families have been tested and testing capacity as a whole has increase to 18,000 a day.

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So far 38 NHS frontline workers have died from coronavirus.

Among those criticising Mr Gove was Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who said: "Is it one rule for you and another for nurses, doctors, surgeons and others who are having to self isolate for two weeks in exactly that circumstance."

He added: "This is what we want for everybody on the frontline, the ability to test them immediately, so if they’re negative they can get on with their lives and go back to work."

Across the UK, there have so far been 282,374 people in total who have been tested - of which 84,279 tested positive.

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