British Prime Minister in Intensive Care as Condition Worsens

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a Covid-19 meeting remotely while self-isolating on March 28, 2020. (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP, File)

(CN) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London late Monday after his Covid-19 symptoms took a turn for the worse.

“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the first secretary of state, to deputize for him where necessary.”

The statement from 10 Downing Street continued, “The PM is receiving excellent care and thanks all [National Health Service] staff for their hard work and dedication.”

British newspaper The Guardian reported the decision to move Johnson was made as a precautionary one, in case the prime minister needs access to a ventilator. Johnson was diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 26 and was admitted to the hospital Sunday on the advice of his doctor.

“I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe,” Johnson tweeted Monday.

The first head of a government to test positive for the novel coronavirus, the 55-year-old prime minister has continued to release video messages throughout his isolation, reassuring the United Kingdom he was rebounding from his symptoms. In a video posted Friday, Johnson reported he was still experiencing a fever.

Johnson’s fianceé Carrie Symonds has also experienced symptoms of Covid-19, though she has not been tested for the diseased caused by virus. Symonds wrote on Twitter Saturday she’d spent the past week in bed with “the main symptoms of coronavirus,” but is now “on the mend” after resting.

Globally, Covid-19 has infected over 1.3 million people and killed over 73,500, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. In the United Kingdom alone, there are more than 52,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 exist and over 5,300 deaths.

Many members of the British government took to Twitter on Monday to express their best wishes for Johnson as his condition worsened. Ian Blackford, a member of the British Parliament, wrote it was worrying news to hear of the prime minister’s decline.  

“This is such a terrible virus that we all must take seriously,” Blackford wrote.

Liz Kendall, another British Parliament member, said Johnson’s move to an intensive care unit was “terrible, terrible news.” She also expressed “best wishes to his family” as they deal with his hospitalization.

President Donald Trump on Sunday also extended his well wishes to Johnson, saying that all Americans were praying for his recovery.

“I’m sure he is going to be fine. He’s a strong man, a strong person,” the president said.  

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