British PM Boris Johnson taken into intensive care with coronavirus

PTI Agencies London | Updated on April 07, 2020 Published on April 07, 2020

File photo of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson   -  File Photo: REUTERS

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was in hospital due to persistent coronavirus symptoms, has been taken into intensive care after his condition worsened, Downing Street has said.

Johnson, 55, asked UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him as he was moved on Monday to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, a move Downing Street said was a precaution should he require ventilation to aid his recovery.

Over the course of this afternoon (Monday), the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the ICU at the hospital, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary,” the spokesperson said.

Raab, speaking after taking temporary charge, said the team spirit within the government would be focussed on taking Johnson’s plans to defeat the pandemic forward.

The minister said: The government’s business will continue. The Prime Minister is in safe hands with that brilliant team at St Thomas’ hospital, and the focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister’s direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward“.

“There’s an incredibly strong team spirit behind the Prime Minister, and making sure that we get all of the plans the Prime Minister’s instructed us to deliver, to get them implemented as soon as possible. And that’s the way it will bring the whole country through the coronavirus challenge that we face right now, the minister said.

Downing Street said Johnson remains conscious and is receiving excellent care , for which he thanks all National Health Service (NHS) staff for their hard work and dedication.

Earlier in the day on Monday, Johnson had messaged from his hospital bed to say that he was in good spirits and staying in contact with his ministers to oversee the UK’s coronavirus fightback despite his hospitalisation on Sunday night due to persistent COVID-19 symptoms.

He was last seen in public applauding the NHS and other key workers just outside his flat in Downing Street last Thursday and posted his last Twitter video message on Friday in which he said he was still displaying minor symptoms.

“I still have a temperature. So in accordance with government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes. But we’re working clearly the whole time on our programme to beat the virus,” he said.

Reuters adds

World leaders wish UK PM Johnson a quick recovery

Donald Trump, US President

“I also want to send best wishes to a very good friend of mine, a friend to our nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We were very saddened to hear that he was taken into intensive care this afternoon.”

“Americans are all praying for his recovery. He’s been a really good friend. He’s been really something very special - strong, resolute, doesnt quit, doesn’t give up.”

Emmanuel Macron, French President

“All my support for Boris Johnson, his family and the British people at this difficult time. I wish him to overcome this ordeal quickly.”

Ivanka Trump, Adviser to her father US president Trump

“My thoughts and prayers are with Boris Johnson and his family. Godspeed Mr Prime Minister!”

Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM

“Sending my best wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a full and speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you and your family right now. Hope to see you back at Number 10 soon.”

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s PM

“Boris Johnson is in our thoughts tonight. We wish him a speedy recovery and a rapid return to health.”

Michel Barnier, Chief EU Brexit negotiator

“Wishing Boris Johnson all the best and a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you and your family.”


Keir Starmer, Leader Of UK’s main opposition Labour Party

“Terribly sad news. All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

Rishi Sunak, British Finance Minister

“My thoughts tonight are with Boris Johnson and (his fiancşe) Carrie Symonds. I know he’ll be getting the best care possible and will come out of this even stronger.”

David Cameron, former british prime minister

“Thinking of Boris Johnson and his family tonight. Get well soon. You are in great hands and we all want you safe, well and back in 10 Downing Street.”

Theresa May, Former British Prime Minister

“My thoughts and prayers are with Boris Johnson and his family as he continues to receive treatment in hospital.”

Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons

“This is terrible news. I know the thoughts and prayers of everyone across the House are with the Prime Minister and his family right now. We all wish him a speedy recovery.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan

“Praying for the Prime Minister’s swift recovery tonight. Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS has some of the finest medical staff in the world, and he couldn’t be in safer hands.”

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister

“My thoughts are with the PM and his family - sending him every good wish.”

Royal reaction

Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth had been kept informed by Downing Street.

Religious leaders’ reaction

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

“The news that our Prime Minister has been moved to intensive care deepens our compassion for all who are seriously ill and for those caring for them. I invite all people of faith to join me in praying for Boris Johnson and his loved ones.”

Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi

“May Almighty God bless our Prime Minister as he battles against Covid-19 in hospital. May he be strengthened and granted a swift and complete recovery, together with all those who continue to suffer at the hands of this terrible virus.”

Harun Khan, Secretary general of muslim council of Britain

“Saddened to hear that our PM Boris Johnson has been taken into intensive care. My thoughts are with him and his loved ones wishing him a speedy recovery. We know he will receive the best care and attention from our world class #NHS.”

Published on April 07, 2020

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