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UK PM Johnson met business minister Sharma, shortly before Sharma taken ill

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a 45-minute socially distanced meeting with business minister Alok Sharma on Tuesday, a day before Sharma was taken ill and tested for the coronavirus, Johnson’s spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman said the meeting in Johnson’s Number 10 Downing Street offices was also attended by finance minister Rishi Sunak, and that Johnson would follow medical advice if Sharma’s COVID-19 test result came back positive.

“The meeting which took place in Number 10 - I believe it was in the Cabinet Room - was properly socially distanced, so they were all two metres apart,” he said.

“If the Secretary of State (Sharma) were to test positive for coronavirus then he will go through the test and trace process and follow the advice which they give to him.”

Johnson has already contracted and recovered from COVID-19, but there is no certainty that would give him immunity.

(This story corrects day of meeting to Tuesday, not Wednesday)

Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison