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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to an intensive care unit in London for coronavirus, according to a spokesman for No. 10 Downing Street.
The move came hours after he was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital Sunday for “persistent symptoms of coronavirus” as a “precautionary step.”
“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,” a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said in a statement to CNN.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been deputized while he’s being treated.
Johnson remains conscious and was moved to the ICU as a precaution should he require a ventilator, 10 Downing said, in a statement.
Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 10 days ago. His pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, also contracted the illness, though her condition has reportedly improved.
Johnson, meanwhile, was reportedly more ill than previously let on, according to the Guardian, and physicians were concerned about his breathing.
Johnson was criticized last month for failing to adhere to social distancing advice, saying he was “shaking hands with everyone” when infections in the U.K. were already on the rise. Johnson’s administration initially advocated for a herd immunity approach to tackling the pandemic, but subsequently abandoned it in favor of self-isolation and social distancing.
Politicians on all sides have been posting messages of support for the prime minister. Opposition leader Keri Starmer called the developments “terribly sad” while Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Johnson “would come out of this stronger.”
Cover: April 5th 2020 – Boris Johnson has been admitted to the hospital after displaying symptoms of the coronavirus. (NYC)0 File Photo by: zz/KGC-254/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/24/19