British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was being given oxygen as he remained in intensive care Tuesday while battling the coronavirus.
The 55-year-old leader — who announced on March 27 that he tested positive for COVID-19 — spent Monday night in the intensive care unit of London’s St Thomas’ Hospital, which directly overlooks Parliament.
Johnson is being given oxygen but “the prime minister is not on a ventilator,” announced Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove — who also went into isolation after a family member showed symptoms.
The prime minister remained conscious and had not been diagnosed with pneumonia, The Times of London said.
Gove said 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,” said Gove.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan insisted Johnson was being treated by “some of the finest medical staff in the world, and he couldn’t be in safer hands.”
Cabinet officials were alerted in a video conference about Johnson’s deteriorating condition shortly before the public announcement, with one calling it a “truly shocking” moment, the UK Times said.
Johnson’s pregnant fiancée, Carrie Symonds, also said she was sick for a week with classic symptoms of the virus, insisting at the weekend that she was “on the mend.” She is unable to see him despite his serious condition, The Sun says.
Britain has no official post of deputy prime minister, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been designated to take over temporarily.
“The government’s business will continue,” Raab said late Monday. He said Johnson had asked him “to deputize for him where needed in driving forward the government’s plans to defeat coronavirus.”
That doesn’t mean Raab would automatically take over permanently if Johnson could not return to his job. His Conservative Party could instead elect a new leader, who would become prime minister.
With Post Wires
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