Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care after his condition worsened, Downing Street has said.
The prime minister was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday night – 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus – due to “persistent” symptoms of COVID-19.
He was initially admitted for further tests but Mr Johnson’s health has since deteriorated, Number 10 said. The prime minister, 55, is understood to have experienced breathing difficulties on Monday afternoon and was given oxygen.
He remains conscious and has not been put on a ventilator, but was moved to intensive care as a precaution should he later need one.
The prime minister phoned Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to ask him to deputise “where necessary”, a request made before Mr Johnson was moved to intensive care.
The Queen has been kept informed of the developments, a Buckingham Palace source told Sky News. Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill spoke to ministers on a conference call on Monday night shortly before the news of the prime minister’s health was announced.
One cabinet minister told Sky News the development was “deeply worrying and upsetting”.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “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 prime minister has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The prime minister is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”
It is understood the decision to move the prime minister to intensive care was made around 7pm on Monday.
This came shortly after Mr Raab had said, at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, that Mr Johnson was in “good spirits” after spending a “comfortable” night in hospital.
St Thomas’ is across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament.
Mr Johnson did not travel to the hospital by ambulance on Sunday night but travelled the short distance from Downing Street by “private transportation”, the prime minister’s official spokesman said earlier on Monday.
The prime minister was said to have received his ministerial red box containing his official papers and was continuing to lead the government and work from his hospital bed during the day on Monday, before his condition worsened.
The prime minister’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds revealed at the weekend that she had spent a week in bed with coronavirus symptoms.
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