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Coronavirus strikes UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his health secretary and his chief medical adviser

Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for coronavirus

Coronavirus: PM admitted to hospital over virus symptoms

The British prime minister is in for tests as a “precautionary step,” according to Downing Street.

LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday night, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus.

In a statement, a Downing Street spokeswoman said it was a precautionary move and had been taken "on the advice of his doctor."

“This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus," the spokesperson said.

The prime minister is expected to stay in hospital overnight, officials indicated, having been admitted earlier on Sunday evening. Downing Street did not say which hospital he was in, and officials emphasized that it had not been an emergency admission.

Johnson confirmed he had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday last week, and has been self-isolating in Downing Street ever since, chairing meetings via videoconference, and having papers and meals left at his door. Ten days on he is still showing symptoms of the illness, including a high temperature.

While officials said Johnson remains in charge of the government, and in contact with his ministers and officials, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will chair Monday morning’s meeting of the government’s COVID-19 “war cabinet,” officials said. The Sunday Times reported last month that Raab had been nominated as "designated survivor" should the prime minister be incapacitated.

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who confirmed that he had also tested positive for coronavirus on the same day as the prime minister, has since recovered and resumed his public role at the forefront of the government’s pandemic response. Johnson’s fiancé Carrie Symonds has also been ill with COVID-19 symptoms and is self-isolating but has not been tested for the virus
News of Johnson’s admission to hospital came just over an hour after Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare televised address, which was pre-recorded, to rally spirits in what she said was an “increasingly challenging time.”

Leading British politicians including Hancock, Keir Starmer, the new Labour leader, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and London Mayor Sadiq Khan wished the prime minister well on social media.
Asked about the prime minister’s health earlier Sunday, Hancock told Sky News that Johnson was “OK.”

“He has still got a temperature … I was lucky, I had two pretty rough days and then I bounced back and some people do get it pretty mildly, and then for others, it’s very, very serious and the prime minister is not at that end of the spectrum.”

At the start of his evening press conference, President Donald Trump wished Johnson well.

“I want to stress our nation's well wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he wages his own personal fight with the virus,” Trump said. “All Americans are praying for him.“

His government has also come under pressure to test for the virus more widely and to provide WHO standard protective gear for doctors and nurses across the country.
In the event that Johnson is unable to fulfill all his duties as prime minister, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would be expected to stand in his place. Raab previously served as Brexit Secretary under the government led by Theresa May. He stepped down after the UK and EU agreed on a draft Brexit deal, which he claimed had "fatal flaws."
Johnson last met with Queen Elizabeth II on March 11, Buckingham Palace said Friday. "The Queen last saw the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare," the palace said in a statement.
British health authorities announced another 181 fatalities on Friday, bringing the death toll to 759. More than 14,500 infections have been recorded, but as the UK is not testing widely, true infection numbers are likely to be much higher.


Updated: 04/05/2020 07:07 PM EDT



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