British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital, after being hospitalized on Sunday for persistent COVID-19 symptoms.
“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,” said a spokesman.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson had said on Monday that Johnson had a “comfortable” night at St Thomas’ Hospital, across Westminster Bridge from Downing Street, and is in “good spirits.” The spokesperson would not comment on reports Johnson was given oxygen, but officials are no longer describing his symptoms as mild.
Johnson was taken to hospital at about 20:00 on Sunday evening, 10 days after first being diagnosed.
“This wasn’t an emergency admission, it was a planned admission, in order to have some routine tests,” the spokesperson said. “Those tests are underway and he’ll stay in hospital as long as he needs to do that. But I’ve heard that he’s doing well, and I very much look forward to him being back in Number 10 as soon as possible.”
When asked if the Prime Minister would spend more nights in the hospital, The spokesperson said, “He’ll obviously take the advice from the doctors and nurses in the hospital who are doing those tests. Throughout this, he’s taken the advice and followed the guidelines.”
Johnson, 55, announced that he had tested positive for the virus on March 27, describing a cough and a fever in a video posted to Twitter. In an update on Friday, Johnson said that he continued to experience a temperature.
Johnson’s secretary of state for health, Matt Hancock, also said on March 27 he had the virus, and the UK’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, announced that he would begin self-isolation after displaying symptoms.
The UK had faced criticism for its slow response to the coronavirus, with Johnson still shaking hands of patients with the virus in hospital just a few weeks ago.