U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken into an intensive care unit for coronavirus, his office announced Monday.
Johnson, 55, tested positive for the virus at the end of March and has been battling symptoms for more than 10 days. He was taken to the hospital Sunday at the advice of his doctor, though his office insisted it was merely a precautionary measure.
But Johnson has since been moved into intensive care at Thomas’ Hospital in London, No. 10 Downing Street said in a statement Monday.
Boris Johnson will be placed on ventilator if condition worsens, Bill Neely reports
“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 statement said.
Though the prime minister has continued with his duties since his diagnosis, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was deputized to fill in for Johnson when necessary.
Johnson tweeted earlier Monday regarding his hospitalization, adding that he was in good spirits.
“I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe,” Johnson wrote.
His partner, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, said on Twitter Saturday that she was in recovery after a week of being bedridden with symptoms. Symonds said she had not been tested for the virus.
The news of Johnson’s move into intensive care brought prayers and well wishes from notable public figures, including Labour leader Keir Starmer.
“Terribly sad news,” Starmer said. “All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time.”
Johnson announced his positive test results March 27 on Twitter, saying his symptoms were mild and he was self-isolating. The prime minister insisted that the United Kingdom continue to follow social distancing measures and the advice of public health officials in his initial statement post diagnosis.
“The more effectively we all comply with those measures, the faster our country can come through this epidemic and the faster we will bounce back,” Johnson said last month.
The United Kingdom has 47,806 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,934 deaths as of Monday.
During a rare televised address Sunday evening, Queen Elizabeth II, 93, urged her subjects to show “self-discipline” and “quiet good-humored resolve. “
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”