George Alagiah tests positive for coronavirus

George Alagiah has shared a message of encouragement with fellow cancer patients after testing positive for Covid-19.

The BBC newsreader said that "if I can live with cancer, I can certainly live with Covid-19."

Alagiah had decided earlier this month that he was going to stop appearing on air from the studio amid the virus outbreak following advice from doctors and colleagues.

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BBC News presenter / newsreader George Alagiah on the set of BBC World News. 21/04/2006. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 25: British newsreader, journalist and television news presenter George Alagiah attends a photo call during Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019 on August 25, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 21: BBC News presenter George Alagiah at the Edinburgh TV Festival on August 21, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ken Jack/Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall talks to British journalist and BBC news presenter, George Alagiah (R) who was born in Sri Lanka, during a reception in Clarence House, central London on October 24, 2013. The reception was for members of British Indian and Sri Lankan communities, ahead of the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall's tour of India and Sri Lanka in November. AFP PHOTO / POOL / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
British newsreader, journalist and television news presenter, George Alagiah, arrives to attend the The Asian Awards, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London on October 26, 2010. The awards recognise and reward exemplary achievements across 11 categories, from business to sport, and are open individuals born in, or with direct family origins in, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read Carl Court/AFP via Getty Images)
Presenter and newsreader George Alagiah in the BBC World News studio, 01/07/2008 (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
Presenter and newsreader George Alagiah in the BBC World News studio, 01/07/2008 (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
- George Alagiah news pressenter on BBC Four News . George Alagiah will present the first primetime nightly news programme with a uniquely global perspective (exact date of image unknown). (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 8: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Patti Smith, George Alagiah, Richard Wilson and Antony Sher attend a party at the Haymarket Hotel following the gala performance 'Cries from the Heart' in aid of Human Rights Watch at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on June 8, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 8: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) George Alagiah and Marie Colvin attend a party at the Haymarket Hotel following the gala performance 'Cries from the Heart' in aid of Human Rights Watch at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on June 8, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Newsreader George Alagiah attends a Dragons Den-style event at Glasgow's Lourdes Secondary School in which pupils try to win cash for fair trade schemes. (Photo by Danny Lawson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Natasha Kaplinsky and George Alagiah preparing for the Six O'Clock News in Television Centre (TVC), London, 19/09/2007 (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
Natasha Kaplinsky, George Alagiah, Sophie Raworth, taking part in worldwide vigil held for kidnapped Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston to mark his 100th day of captivity.BBC staff gather in the news studio for a vigil to remember kidnapped corespondent Alan Johnston June 20, 2007 in London. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
BBC News presenter / newsreader George Alagiah (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
Presenters and newsreaders Natasha Kaplinsky and George Alagiah on the set of the BBC Six O'Clock News, 27/02/2007. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
BBC News presenter / newsreader George Alagiah on the set of BBC World News. 21/04/2006. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
BBC News Election 2005 battlebus - Sophie Raworth and George Alagiah pose with the BBC battlebus outside the House of Commons, Westminster. The bus will set off around the country during the 2005 election campaign and is equipped as a broadcast studio. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
LONDON - DECEMBER 10: Newsreader George Alagiah poses at his home in London,England on the 10th of December 2004.(Photo by Cambridge Jones/Getty Images)
- Presenters George Alagiah and Sophie Raworth The Six O'Clock News celebrates its 20th Anniversary on 3rd September 2004 (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
- Presenters George Alagiah and Sophie Raworth The Six O'Clock News celebrates its 20th Anniversary on 3rd September 2004 (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
George Alagiah and Sophie Raworth on the set of the Six O'Clock News. (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
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He told BBC News At Six's Sophie Raworth: "I don't want to trivialise because I seem to have had a mild dose, but actually, the very fact that we (cancer patients) are living with cancer I think gives us an edge.

"We've confronted those difficult, dark moments in our life.

"And in some ways, I think that we, those of us living with cancer, are stronger because we kind of know what it is like to go into something where the outcomes are uncertain.

"And I certainly feel that having had that experience, in my case six years as a cancer patient, I went into this feeling actually quite strong, if I can live with cancer, I can certainly live with Covid-19."

Alagiah's wife Fran has also experienced coronavirus symptoms.

The presenter said: "She's been through it a little bit and it's kind of lasted a bit longer.

"There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for how this plays out in individuals.

"I don't want to make light of it, because right now, Sophie, you and I both know there are people out there who are really finding this tricky, families going through a very anxious time."

Alagiah was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2014 and again in December 2017.

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