Coronavirus: Matt Hancock says it's 'highly likely' he's now immune to COVID-19

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated on December 17, 2019 shows British Health Secretary Matt Hancock arriving at 10 Downing Street in London, United Kingdom. Matt Hancock tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says it's likely he's now immune to coronavirus (Picture: Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Matt Hancock says it’s “highly likely” that he is now immune to coronavirus after contracting the virus.

But the Health Secretary said he is still social distancing as any immunity isn’t certain.

Hancock made the comments during interviews on Friday following his first public appearance since he was forced to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.

He appeared at the daily Downing Street press conference on Thursday, during which he discussed testing for coronavirus as well as the potential for the government to issue immunity certificates to those who had contracted the illness.

Asked if he thought he was now immune for coronavirus, Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I took advice on that and the advice is it’s highly likely that I am now immune, or have a very high level of immunity.

“But it’s not certain. And, so, like everybody else who has been through it, I am social distancing, just like everybody else.

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“We have a stream of work under way … on immunity, with, potentially, having immunity certificates, so that if people have been through it, and when the science is clear about the point at which they are then immune, that people can then start getting back to normal even more because they have been through it.

“One of the big challenges in this is to know how long immunity lasts for.”

Hancock described feeling like he had razors in his throat and said he had lost half a stone during the illness after it left him unable to eat, drink or sleep for a few days.

But the politician, who said he had begun to go “downhill” on March 26, said the worst part was not knowing how bad things would get.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, he said: “I had two days or so when it was like just razors in your throat, a very, very sore throat. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t drink.

“The worst bit was on the way down, worrying how bad it would get because we’ve all seen how bad it can get and it seems to be indiscriminate.”

Describing himself as now being back to “full health”, he said he was relieved to have recovered.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Thankfully I bottomed out and started getting better, and for me it was short-lived and I was able to come back to work yesterday, and I’m in full health. But it is worrying. I’ve lost half a stone, it’s quite a serious impact directly. But thankfully for me I could get through it.”

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