News has broke that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken into the intensive care unit of St. Thomas Hospital in London after his condition started to worsen.
The prime minister was conscious as he was transferred to the ICU at around 7 p.m. GMT, with the medical team making the decision to move him to the ICU as a precaution should he need ventilation.
“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,” a spokesman for No. 10 Downing Street said in a statement.
“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 spokesman said.
Johnson, who is 55 years old, was the first world leader to announce he had tested positive for the virus on March 27 and has since continued to lead the government’s response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, and held meetings and briefings via video conference.
Temporarily taking over his duties as prime minister while he’s in the hospital is Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who many felt should have been handed Johnson’s role on an interim basis when the prime minister was admitted on Sunday.
The Prime Minister has been in good spirits since he found out about his condition 10 days ago and has often taken to Twitter to thank the nation for doing their part by staying at home.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 6, 2020
The news of Johnson’s transfer to the ICU comes as the UK suffers 51,608 positive cases of Covid-19, with 5373 deaths and 135 recoveries.