Nadine Dorries says she’s ‘lost all sense of taste and smell’ as she self-isolates at home after becoming first MP to catch killer bug
- The 62-year-old, the first MP to be diagnosed with coronavirus, tweeted news
- She was quarantined with her 84-year-old mother after testing positive for virus
- Her mother has now returned home and has been ‘cutting back the hydrangeas’
- Ms Dorries sparked panic in parliament that dozens on MPs caught have virus
- But only one other, Labour MP Kate Osborne, has so far tested positive for bug
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Coronavirus-hit Health Minister Nadine Dorries today said she had lost all sense of taste and smell as a result of her battle with the deadly disease.
The 62-year-old, who was the first MP to be diagnosed with Covid-19, said she can only tell the difference between warm and cold and nothing else.
The Mid Bedfordshire MP, who has been quarantined at her home with her mother – who was visiting for a birthday party – since a positive test last week, is on the mend however.
She also revealed that her 84-year-old mother has now returned to her own home and was ‘struggling to understand what all the fuss is about’.
Ms Dorries tweeted: ‘A side effect of #coronavirus for me is the fact that I have lost 100% of taste and smell. Absolutely zero of both, so weird.
‘Eating and drinking warm or cold that’s all I can tell. No point in putting a tea bag in the water.’
March 4: Nadine was last on the floor of the Commons last Wednesday and is likely to have been carrying coronavirus then and didn’t know it
The MP is pictured here with her 84-year-old mother, in 2018, who she admitted she was worried about after she came down with a cough
Nadine Dorries said she had lost all taste and smell as a result of the virus. But she added that her mother had now returned home
She added: ‘Thank you so much for questions about mum. She is struggling to understand what all the fuss is about.
‘She is back home and emailed at 7am to say she had cut back the hydrangeas and was washing her nets today She was down and out for 24 hrs and then looked after me!
‘When she left she thanked me for her lovely birthday party and all her lovely presents, especially the #COVID19.’
Her comments come hours after she blasted ‘selfish’ Londoners today for ignoring pleas to work from home in a bit to slow the spread of the contagion.
She hit out at the capital’s residents, accusing many of using cafes and coffee shops to work instead self-isolating away from other people.
It came after Boris Johnson hinted the capital’s nine million population could face a total lockdown within days amid fears the ‘superspreader city’ is the engine of the UK’s coronavirus outbreak, after the daily death rate doubled to 33 in 24 hours.
Commuters have shared pictures of crowded tube trains and platforms as services are cut back as London grinds to a halt.
Nadine Dorries, 62, hit out at the capital’s residents, accusing many of using cafes and coffee shops to work instead self-isolating away from other people
Nadine Dorries was with Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel at Downing Street on January 8
Ms Dorries, the Mid Bedfordshire MP and a novellist, said: ‘People in London are working in cafes, not at home.
‘One cafe owner tells me that takings have shot up to over double usual daily amount.
‘This is not social distancing, it is irresponsible behaviour and the price to pay for such selfishness will be severe for us all.’
The Army has put 20,000 troops on standby as the Prime Minister refused to rule out the possibility of ‘further and faster measures’ to control the spread of the virus on the busy streets of the capital, where the epidemic is running ahead of the rest of the country.
He said ‘ruthless’ enforcement of so-called social distancing measures – such as working from home and avoiding social gatherings in pubs, cinemas and restaurants – was needed.
Some 953 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in London – more than a third of the UK total of 2,626.
Mayor Sadiq Khan told Londoners to ‘stop travelling and avoid social interaction today’, despite commuters who still have to get into work being forced to cram onto packed Tubes after services were cut.
London Underground said nine stations were already shut this morning with a further 31 set to follow later today as the Mayor urged people not to travel ‘by any means, unless they really, really have to’.
Commuters have shared pictures of crowded tube trains and platforms as services are cut back as London grinds to a halt
A busy Green Park station in London this morning (left) as passengers were forced to cram into carriages (right) after services were cut
The former nurse, who is recovering from her brush with coronavirus, took to Twitter to voice her frustration
But with thousands of commuters unable to work from home still going into work, many were left standing cheek by jowl on trains that are still running in an obvious infringement of guidelines to stand six feet apart.
Stations which do not interchange with other lines could be closed, while the Waterloo and City line and Night Tube services will not run from Friday.
Buses in the capital will be reduced and people are being urged ‘not to use public transport for anything other than essential journeys’.
Ms Dorries sparked panic in parliament when she was diagnosed with the virus.
Officials were tracing everyone she has been in contact with since contracting the virus, including MPs. As a former nurse, Mrs Dorries has played a key role in drawing up plans to tackle the virus.
She met hundreds of people last week, including a large number of MPs, and attended a conference outside Westminster. On Thursday she attended a Downing Street event hosted by Mr Johnson to mark International Women’s Day.
She started feeling ill on March 6 as she was signing a statutory instrument that declared coronavirus to be a ‘notifiable disease’, enabling companies to obtain insurance cover.
The health minister held the surgery in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency on Saturday.
Over the weekend she experienced the ‘classic symptoms’ of the disease – a dry cough, high temperature and ‘vice-like’ pain in her chest.
Kate Osborne highlighted the official advice to stay at home for seven days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough
On Monday, a Labour backbencher announced she had become the second British MP to contract coronavirus as another 16 self-isolated themselves.
Jarrow’s Kate Osborne made the announcement on Twitter as Parliament began to take steps to operate with fewer politicians present.
The Government has indicated that it wants the Commons to remain open with emergency legislation expected to be introduced on Thursday to give authorities more powers to deal with the pandemic.
Ms Osborne, who has only been an MP since December, said her positive diagnosis came ‘following a period of self-isolation and subsequent testing.’
‘I will continue to self isolate until I have fought off the illness, but in the mean time I would encourage everyone to band together and support the most vulnerable in our communities,’ she said.
Labour is now running a one-line whip, the lightest form of party vote discipline, allowing its politicians to stay away from the green benches if necessary.
The Conservatives are expected to follow suit with a tacit agreement seemingly in place to avoid confrontations over legislation at a time of national emergency as much as possible.
A senior Labour source played down the prospect huge numbers of MPs will stay away, but said they are ensuring politicians ‘aren’t forced to vote on things that obviously don’t seem as important as before coronavirus’.
The source said: ‘The country wants a grown-up approach on this.’
Labour wants to ‘ensure that the Govt is held to account but in a way which reflects the circumstances we are in’.
Some commuters were still struggling into work in London today despite speculation that the lockdown could be tightened
A tent next to St Thomas’s Hospital in central London today as the authorities move to increase capacity for the crisis
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the Labour MP for Streatham in south London, became the latest MP to announce she was self-isolating this morning, having come down with coronavirus-like symptoms at the weekend.
Both she and Ms Osborne highlighted the official advice to stay at home for seven days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.
Ms Osborne, who worked for Royal Mail for the last 25 years, was elected to represent Jarrow in the 2019 election.
She said she was still contactable and urged constituents to email either her or and her staff.
Her diagnosis comes after Ms Dorries confirmed she had tested positive for the virus last week.
And Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on Friday that she has tested negative for the virus, but would stay at home for seven days as a precaution.
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