Indian-Origin British Minister Alok Sharma Tests Negative For Coronavirus

"Huge thanks to everyone for their really kind messages over the last 24 hours," Alok Sharma said.

Indian-Origin British Minister Alok Sharma Tests Negative For Coronavirus

"Just had results in and my test for Covid-19 was negative," Alok Sharma said.

London:

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed that his test for coronavirus has come back negative on Thursday, a day after he went into self-isolation after displaying virus-like symptoms.

The 52-year-old Indian-origin minister, who had triggered alarm in government quarters after feeling unwell in the House of Commons on Wednesday soon after a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street, confirmed his test result on Twitter.

"Just had results in and my test for Covid-19 was negative," Sharma said.

"Huge thanks to everyone for their really kind messages over the last 24 hours and my grateful thanks also to the parliamentary authorities and Speaker for their support yesterday," he said, in reference to support offered to him after he was visibly uneasy and unwell during a parliamentary Bill reading.

His condition had sparked widespread panic because if the result had come back positive, Johnson and Indian-origin finance minister Sunak would have also had to self-isolate for 14 days in line with UK government guidance.

Under the test and trace system, the government advice is for all "close contacts" who would have been in an infected person's vicinity for more than 15 minutes to get tested and go into self-isolation at home.

Senior government figures had tried to downplay Sharma's symptoms, saying the Agra-born Reading West Conservative Party parliamentarian may have a severe case of hay fever, or a seasonal allergic reaction

His illness renewed government criticism over abandoning last month's hybrid sitting for Parliament, when parliamentarians were allowed to participate in Commons sessions remotely.

As a result, two new motions are being voted through on Thursday to make it possible for parliamentarians in a high risk health category to vote by proxy and allow for some sessions to take place virtually.