U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be in stable condition following his transfer to the intensive care unit of a London hospital amid his coronavirus diagnosis. Speaking with reporters, a Downing Street spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon that Johnson had received oxygen treatment but has not been placed on a ventilator. According to reports, Johnson does not have pneumonia.
"The Prime Minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits," the spokesperson said, according to Variety. "He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance. He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support."
Speaking BBC Radio 4's Today program, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove explained that among the reasons Johnson was placed in the ICU was "to make sure that whatever support the medical team consider to be appropriate can be provided." According to CNN, he added that the prime minister "was "receiving the very best care."
Johnson, 55, announced on March 27 that he had tested positive for the virus, making him the first world leader to reveal a positive diagnosis. At the time, Johnson explained that he was only experiencing "mild symptoms," including a temperature and persistent cough, and would be working from him as he recovered. Just days later, he revealed that he had been admitted to St Thomas' hospital in London Sunday evening for "tests" due to his "persistent symptoms." After his conditions worsened, it was confirmed Monday that he had been transferred to the ICU.
"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 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."
Amid his hospitalization, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, will stand in for Jonhson. Gove confirmed when speaking Tueday that Raab Raab was now in charge of seeing through Johnson's plan to tackle the novel coronavirus, stating that Raab "takes on the responsibilities of chairing the various meetings the PM would've chaired but we're all working together to implement the plan that the PM has set out."
As of Tuesday morning, the UK's confirmed number of coronavirus cases had surpassed 52,000, with fatalities climbing above 5,000. Globally, there have been more than 1.3 million cases and nearly 76,000 deaths. The number of people recovered has reached more than 268,000.