Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen
Boris Johnson has been moved to an intensive care unit after his coronavirus symptoms worsened.
Downing Street said the decision had been taken on the advice of the medical team which has been looking after him since he was admitted to hospital on Sunday night.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the Prime Minister's de facto deputy, will now stand in for him.
Johnson was first diagnosed with COVID-19 12 days ago and had been due to emerge from self-isolation last Friday.
However, he remained behind closed doors after his symptoms, a cough and high temperature, persisted.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital in London after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.
“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 PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”
Downing Street sources said Johnson was moved to intensive care at around 7pm as a precaution in case he requires ventilation. He remains conscious, they added.
Earlier, he had insisted he was in “good spirits” following his first night in hospital.
And at the daily Downing Street press conference, Raab had brushed aside suggestions that he would have to step in to take over the PM's responsibilities – although he admitted he had not spoken to him since Saturday.
Raab said: “The PM is in charge, he is leading the government and giving directions as and when required.”
Good wishes have poured in from across the political spectrum and from leaders of other countries.
Responding to the news, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish”.
Keir Starmer tweeted: “Terribly sad news. All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time.”
Emmanual Macron said: “I send all my support to Boris Johnson, to his family and to the British people at this difficult moment. I wish him a speedy recovery at this testing time” and Donald Trump said Americans “are all praying for his recovery”.