Boris Johnson Receives Oxygen Support in Intensive Care
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received oxygen treatment in intensive care, but is not on a ventilator, a fellow minister has confirmed.
Mr Johnson, 55, was admitted to hospital on Sunday afternoon and moved to intensive care around 7pm on Monday night local time, Downing Street confirmed.
He was concious at the time, but had received around four litres of oxygen according to media reports. He has not yet been on a ventilator, but is close to one should he need it.
The Prime Minister has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in as his deputy.
Cabinet Minister, Michael Gove, who is also self-isolating for the disease, said he did not know whether Mr Johnson had pneumonia, which often develops in patients hit hardest by the coronavirus.
Mr Gove said Mr Johnson is “receiving the very, very best care from the team at St Thomas’ and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family.” “We’re desperately hoping that Boris can make the speediest possible recovery.”
The news shocked Britain on Monday after Mr Johnson had previously tweeted that he was in “good spirits” after recieving his government papers and would continue to lead the country from his hospital bed.
Earlier, Housing Minister Robert Jenrick suggested he was “doing well” and was expected to be back at his office shortly
“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,” Mr Jenrick told the BBC.
“This isn’t an emergency admission and so I certainly expect that he’ll be back at Number 10 shortly,” he added, referring to Johnson’s Downing Street residence.
Johnson is suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 11 days after testing positive for the virus.
On March 27, the 55-year-old Johnson went into isolation at an apartment in Downing Street and said on Friday he was staying there as he still had a high temperature.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will chair the government’s emergency COVID-19 meeting on Monday.
With only an unwieldy collection of sometimes ancient and contradictory precedents to go by, there is no formal succession plan should the prime minister become incapacitated.
US President Donald Trump said Johnson was a “strong man” as he passed on his nation’s best wishes.
“All Americans are praying for him,” Trump told a news conference. “He’s a friend of mine, he’s a great gentleman and a great leader, and as you know he went to the hospital today but I’m hopeful and sure that he’s going to be fine.”
“Clearly the prime minister is finding it difficult to shake this thing off,” said Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at Nottingham University.
“What it does show is how difficult it is to predict how this infection will develop, and whilst most people will experience nothing more than an annoying cold, for others this can develop into a serious and sometimes life-threatening disease.” Medics said that patients with COVID-19 can deteriorate after about 10 days, with some developing pneumonia.
Johnson posted a video message on Friday, appearing weary, sitting in a chair with his shirt open at the neck.
“Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature,” he said.
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