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Dublin: 0 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

Prince Charles 'did not jump the queue' for Covid-19 test, insists UK Health Minister

The Prince of Wales tested positive for the virus.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall greeting guests during the Commonwealth Reception at Marlborough House, London earlier this month.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall greeting guests during the Commonwealth Reception at Marlborough House, London earlier this month.
Image: PA

UK HEALTH MINISTER Edward Argar has insisted that Prince Charles did not ‘jump the queue’ to be tested for Covid-19.  

The criticism comes as some health care workers in the UK are being denied tests, while both Charles, 71, and his wife Camilla, 72, were tested on Monday.

A spokesperson for Charles said his test was carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where he met the criteria required for testing despite displaying mild symptoms. 

“The Prince of Wales didn’t jump the queue, we are focused on making sure that we ramp up those tests around the country for our frontline workers. There is a significant national effort underway to do that,” Argar told SkyNews. 

“My understanding is that his symptoms his condition, met that criteria.”

The Royal couple are currently staying at the Birkhall estate in Aberdeenshire, with Camilla separating herself from her husband after she tested negative.

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer also defended the decision to test Charles for coronavirus, saying there were “very good reasons” behind the move.

Speaking about Charles on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Dr Calderwood said: “I have spoken to the team in Grampian who were looking after the individual.

“My understanding is there were very good reasons for that person and his wife to be tested, and obviously I wouldn’t be able to disclose anything else that I know because of patient confidentiality.”

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said she wished Charles a “speedy recovery”, but added: “Given that his symptoms are said to be mild, like many I wonder how he was tested when many NHS and social care workers cannot get tested.

“My nephew, who has serious asthma and a chest infection, was recently refused a test.”

With tourists being urged to stay away from remote areas of Scotland during the outbreak, former SNP MP George Kerevan was more critical, branding Charles an “arrogant fool”.

He tweeted: “This billionaire land owner disobeyed guidance to stay home to avoid spreading virus, went to second home in Scotland, is now infected and has infected others.

“Indy Scotland must be a republic and tax this arrogant fool.”

- With reporting from PA

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Adam Daly

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