Prince Albert opens up about coronavirus diagnosis and his kids: 'I haven't been able to kiss them for more than a week'

The Palace released a statement on Thursday saying Prince Albert of Monaco has tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Prince Albert II of Monaco, who was tested earlier this week, is positive for Covid-19," the statement read, adding, "His state of health is not a source of concern," and he is still able to work from home.

Hours after revealing his diagnosis, the prince spoke to People to share an update about his health. "My symptoms are flu-like, but it feels like a pretty mild case. I've a slight fever, not really that bad. A little bit of a cough. I'd a runny nose the first few days, that was the first sign. I've felt a little stuffed up, but that's it.

"I have to be careful because of my recent medical history fighting off pneumonia a couple of years ago.

"It can hit anybody of any age," the prince says, admitting that he is more vulnerable than others because of his age and medical history.

He's staying at the palace, self-quarantining, while his children are with his wife, South African former swimmer, Charlene Wittstock, now Princess Charlene.

"I can't move much or too soon," he told the publication. "But as soon as I get the medical go-ahead, I'll join them there." They talk via telephone, Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime.

But his kids also had a stomach bug before his diagnosis, so the separation has been even longer. "I haven't been able to kiss them for more than a week," he said. "So I hope they won't show symptoms, and so far they haven't shown any."

"Follow instructions. Don't mess around with this. This virus is serious and the propagation is very serious. It can hit anyone of any age group at any time," he urged people.

"Look, we're going to get through this. It's going to take awhile. But everyone has to follow the recommendations. Yes, it's a nuisance and yes, being confined is very limiting — but it's the only way to stop the spread of this virus." 

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 now surpass 200 000 worldwide with a death toll over 10 000, while Monaco currently has 9 reported cases.

In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster as the country reaches 202 reported cases.