British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to an intensive care unit after his Covid-19 coronavirus symptoms worsened. His Downing Street office has reported he was still conscious.
Britain has no formal succession plan should the prime minister become incapacitated. However Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in for him.
Johnson, 55, was admitted to hospital on Sunday night and had been undergoing tests. Johnson had been suffering persistent symptoms, including a high temperature, for more than 10 days. Downing Street had said he was in good spirits and still in charge.
However his condition deteriorated in the early evening and he was transferred at about 1800 GMT to an intensive care unit – where the most serious cases are treated – at St Thomas’ hospital in central London.
Johnson received oxygen, a source at St Thomas’ hospital said.
Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened. Furthermore on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit a spokesman for his office said.
“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to stand in for him where necessary,” Downing Street said. “The PM remains conscious at this time.”
Moved to intensive care as precaution
Downing Street said he was moved to the intensive care unit as “a precaution and to aid his recovery. Queen Elizabeth had been kept informed by Downing Street, Buckingham Palace said.
Sterling fell by nearly a cent against the U.S. dollar on the news about Johnson. The pound fell to as low as $1.221, from $1.230 earlier.
Johnson tested positive for the virus on March 26th, 2020. Consequently after 10 days of isolation at No.10 Downing Street, he was still fighting the virus on Sunday evening with a high temperature and persistent cough.
A spokesman earlier refused to answer directly after being asked whether he had pneumonia. But his move to intensive care confirmed the gravity of the situation.
“There is no doubt this turn of events means Boris Johnson is extremely sick,” said Derek Hill, a professor of medical imaging at University College London (UCL).
British politicians and world leaders wished Johnson well. U.S. President Donald Trump said all Americans were praying for his recovery, Reuters reported.
“He’s been really something very special – strong, resolute, doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up,” Trump told a news briefing, adding he had asked two pharmaceutical firms developing potential COVID-19 therapies to get in touch with the British government to offer their services.
“We’ve contacted all of Boris’ doctors and we’ll see what is going to take place,” he said. “But they are ready to go.”