Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to the intensive care unit for coronavirus, his office announced Monday.
Johnson, 55, was tested positive for the virus at the end of March and has been battling symptoms for more than 10 days. He was taken to the hospital on Sunday on the advice of his doctor, even though his office insisted it was only a precaution.
But Johnson has since been transferred to intensive care at St. Hospital. Thomas in London, Downing Street No. 10 said in a statement Monday.
“Throughout this afternoon, the Prime Minister’s condition has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been transferred to the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital,” the statement said.
Although the prime minister has continued his work since being diagnosed, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab was assigned to replace Johnson when needed.
Johnson tweeted earlier Monday about his hospitalization, adding that he was in good condition
“I am excited and staying in touch with my team, because we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe,” Johnson wrote.
His colleague, Carrie Symonds, who was pregnant, said on Twitter Saturday that he was recovering after a week of lying in bed with symptoms. Symonds said he had not been tested for the virus.
U.S. President Donald Trump said he was very sad to hear about Johnson’s deteriorating condition, calling Johnson a special and “strict” person who did not give up.
“I also want to send the best wishes to a very good friend of mine and a friend of our nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” Trump told a news conference on Monday.
The president added that the government had made contact with doctor Johnson to offer help from companies working on therapies to help fight COVID-19, a disease related to coronavirus.
The news of Johnson’s move to intensive care brought prayers and good wishes from prominent community leaders, including Labor leader Keir Starmer.
“Very sad news,” said Starmer. “All thoughts of the country with the Prime Minister and his family during this very difficult time.”
Johnson announced his positive test results on March 27 on Twitter, saying the symptoms were mild and he himself was isolated. The prime minister insisted that Britain continued to follow social distance measures and advice from public health officials in the initial statement post diagnosis.
“The more effectively we all comply with these steps, the faster our country can get through this epidemic and the sooner we can get back up,” Johnson said last month.
The United Kingdom has 47,806 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,934 deaths on Monday.
As long as a television address that is rarely shown Sunday nightQueen Elizabeth II, 93, urged her people to show “self-discipline” and “quiet sincerity.”
“I hope that in the coming years everyone will be proud of how they respond to this challenge,” the queen said. “And those who come after us will say that the British of this generation are as strong as they are.”
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