13:20 / 07.04.2020
British PM Boris Johnson placed in intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care in hospital on Monday night after his coronavirus symptoms “worsened”, his office has said.

Photo: AFP

He handed over control of the British government to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Johnson, who had been suffering from a persistent fever for 10 days since being diagnosed with COVID-19, was first hospitalized Sunday night and in recent conference calls had been “coughing and sounding pretty rough,” according to one senior civil servant who normally meets with him on a daily basis.

According to BBC political correspondent Chris Mason, Johnson was given oxygen late on Monday afternoon, before being taken to intensive care. However, he has not been put on a ventilator.

“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 at the hospital,” a No 10 statement said. “The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

Johnson’s hospitalization came just over four weeks after the prime minister was still shaking hands, insisting that the “crucial thing” to keep the coronavirus at bay was frequent hand-washing. As late as March 12, Johnson continued to claim that preventing mass gatherings was not an effective way to tackle the coronavirus—before reversing his policy four days later and effectively canceling all sport and other events. A nationwide lockdown was announced on March 23, and on March 27 Johnson announced that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Foreign Policy said.