U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened and he was admitted to the unit Monday evening.
A statement from Downing Street said that over the course of Monday 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 (ICU) at the hospital.”
The prime minister announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on March 27 and was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in London Sunday evening for “tests” due to his “persistent symptoms.”
He received oxygen Monday afternoon was reportedly moved to ICU in order to be nearer to a ventilator, if necessary.
The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system and can cause pneumonia. For the worst affected, ventilation (which carries risks itself) is required to take over the breathing process and to allow the immune system to concentrate on fighting the virus. However, Johnson’s team said Monday that the prime minister was still conscious and not yet on ventilation.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will deputize for the prime minister, the government said, “where necessary.”
World leaders send wish him a speedy recovery:
World leaders have rallied around Johnson, wishing him a speedy recovery.
President Donald Trump sent his best wishes Monday and told a press briefing that: “All Americans are praying for him, he’s a friend of mine, he’s a great gentleman and a great leader.”
Johnson received support from closer to home too, with various European leaders wishing him a speedy recovery.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted Monday: “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.”
Meanwhile, Germany’s government spokesman tweeted a photo of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson together, and expressed her wish for Johnson to have a speedy recovery.
Spanish President Pedro Sanchez also tweeted his best wishes and expressed solidarity with the prime minister, saying: “These are difficult days for our countries, but from strength and unity we will manage to win this battle. A hug to all the British people.”
The messages of support from fellow leaders come as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread worldwide.
Spain and Italy are the worst affected countries in Europe with over 130,000 confirmed cases each. The U.K. has 52,279 confirmed cases and 5,385 deaths.
The U.S., which has recorded the highest number of infections, has reported over 368,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 10,989 deaths.