UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Moved to Intensive Care After Coronavirus Symptoms Worsen

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Johnson had been hospitalized St Thomas' Hospital in London on Sunday after suffering “persistent symptoms.” His condition, however, worsened, and he was moved to the ICU Monday under the advice of his medical team.

“Since Sunday evening, 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 statement obtained by the BBC read. “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 PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication."

CNBC reports that Johnson was transferred to the ICU around 7 p.m. GMT. At the time of the transfer, he was conscious. The outlet reported that his medical team made the decision as a precaution should he require ventilation. While he is hospitalized, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, will stand in for him.

Johnson, 55, had announced on March 27 that he had tested positive for the virus. In a video shared to Twitter, he said that he had been tested after he began to experience "mild symptoms," including a temperature and persistent cough. A little more than a week later, on Sunday night, he revealed that he had been taken to the hospital "for some routine tests" as he was "still experiencing coronavirus symptoms."

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As of Monday morning, the number of confirmed cases in the United Kingdom had surpassed 52,000, with more than 5,000 reported fatalities, according to a Johns Hopkins database. In response to the outbreak, Queen Elizabeth II, who enjoys weekly meetings with Johnson and whose son, Prince Charles, also tested positive for the virus, gave a rare televised address to the nation Sunday.

"I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge," she said. "And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any, that the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country."