Boris Johnson spends night in ICU after symptoms worsen

Boris Johnson spends night in ICU after symptoms worsen
Mr Johnson was given oxygen late on Monday afternoon, before being taken to intensive care. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, London: After his coronavirus symptoms worsened, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is spending the night in intensive care at a central London hospital.

Downing Street said he was moved to ICU on the advice of his medical team and was receiving “excellent care”.

A spokesman said, Mr Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise “where necessary”.

The 55-year-old was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, minutes away from Downing Street with “persistent symptoms” on Sunday evening.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen has been kept informed about Mr Johnson’s health by No 10.

World leaders – including French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump – have expressed their support for Mr Johnson.

BBC said Mr Johnson was given oxygen late on Monday afternoon, before being taken to intensive care.

The move means the prime minister is closer to a ventilator – which takes over the body’s breathing process. But authorities made clear that he is not on one yet.

“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 No 10 statement said. “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.”

“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks to all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication,” the statement added.

Foreign Minister Raab, who will later chair the government’s daily Covid-19 meeting – said there was an “incredibly strong team spirit” behind the prime minister.

He said he and his colleagues were making sure they implemented plans Mr Johnson had instructed them to deliver “as soon as possible”.

“That’s the way we’ll bring the whole country through the coronavirus challenge,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, Boris Johnson tweeted that he was in ‘good spirits’.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer described it as “terribly sad news”.

He said: “All the country’s thoughts are with the prime minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

US President Donald Trump also expressed his support to Mr Johnson.

He said Americans “are all praying for his recovery”.

He described Mr Johnson as “a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation” who is “strong” and “doesn’t give up”.

French President Macron said he sent “all my support to Boris Johnson, to his family, and to the British people at this difficult moment”.

What does it mean?

Intensive care is where doctors look after the sickest patients. Admitting in ICU is the clearest indication of how ill the prime minister is.

Very little information was shared with the media, but it is understood that he is conscious and not being ventilated.

Not every patient in ICU needed to be ventilated, but around two-thirds are within 24 hours of admission with Covid-19.

Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, attacks the lungs and can cause pneumonia and difficulty breathing, which leaves the body struggling to get enough oxygen into the blood and to the body’s vital organs.

As yet, there is no proven drug treatment for Covid-19, although there are many experimental candidates.