Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister who has COVID-19, had to be given oxygen before he was moved into a hospital’s intensive care unit.
The 55-year-old was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, with “persistent symptoms” on Sunday evening (UK time). Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus 10 days ago with a high temperature and a cough.
Boris Johnson tweeted earlier on Monday (UK time) that he was “in good spirits”.
Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 6, 2020
“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,” his office said in a statement on Monday evening (UK time).
It is known that Boris Johnson required oxygen to breathe as his health worsened before he was admitted into intensive care. He remains conscious and has not been put on a ventilator.
The last video of UK prime Minister Boris Johnson as he spoke from his home on Friday (UK time)
Boris Johnson and his team provided very little information until after the prime minister was moved into the hospital’s intensive care unit about 7pm BST.
Boris Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise as prime minister “where necessary”.
Intensive care is where doctors and medical specialists look after the sickest patients.
Boris Johnson’s admission to ICU is the clearest indication of how ill the prime minister is, wrote James Gallagher, the BBC’s Health and Science Correspondent.
“Not every patient in intensive care is ventilated, but around two-thirds are within 24 hours of admission with Covid-19,” Gallagher said.
“This is a disease that attacks the lungs and can cause pneumonia and difficulty breathing. This leaves the body struggling to get enough oxygen into the blood and to the body’s vital organs.
“The cornerstone of the prime minister’s care will depend on getting enough oxygen into his body and supporting his other organs while his immune system fights the virus.”
The worrying news on the UK Prime Minister comes as another 439 people died in the UK to bring the total number of coronavirus hospital deaths to 5,373. The UK Department of Health and Social Care said there were now 51,608 confirmed coronavirus cases. Globally the death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, is more than 73,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, Baltimore, US, with the total number of infections over 1.3 million.
More than 10,000 people in the US have now died from coronavirus and in New York City, the chair of the city council’s health committee, Mark D. Levine, tweeted that hospitals are now forced to rely on refrigerated trailers to hold dead bodies.
France, where the infection and death had been slowing, saw a 10% increase in infections and deaths from COVID-19. The total number of deaths in France now stands at over 8,900,
Egypt reported 149 new coronavirus cases, including seven fatalities, its highest daily toll since confirming the first infection in February. The North African country has recorded 1,322 cases including 85 deaths.
In Italy, another 636 people died on Monday but the number of new cases of infection fell sharply.