While Johnson initially was showing only mild symptoms, he was admitted to the hospital after his doctor recommended routine tests, because the prime minister was still showing symptoms more than a week after his diagnosis.
“I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe,” Johnson wrote in a statement on social media on April 6.
He thanked National Health Service staff for taking care of him and others amid the pandemic, calling them “the best of Britain.” Johnson also exhorted members of the public “to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”
A Downing Street spokeswoman told news outlets on April 5 that Johnson’s “persistent symptoms” led to the doctor’s advice to get tested; the hospitalization was precautionary, she said. Symptoms included a high temperature and a cough, a spokesman said April 6.
Doctors told Reuters that a person of Johnson‘s age with COVID-19 symptoms after 10 days would probably be analyzed for oxygen levels, lung, liver, and kidney functions; an electrocardiogram heart check was also a possibility.
“Clearly, the prime minister is finding it difficult to shake this thing off,” said Jonathan Ball, professor of Molecular Virology at Nottingham University.
Johnson is still leading the government response to the CCP virus, his office and top officials said.
Last week, he had posted a video to social media saying that he was feeling better.
“In my own case, although I’m feeling better and I have done my seven days of isolation, alas, I still have one of the minor symptoms … a temperature,” said Johnson, who appeared to be ill in the video posted on April 3. “So, in accordance with government advice, I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes.”
The United Kingdom is under lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of the CCP virus. Many stores are closed, workers deemed non-essential were told to not go to work, and people were ordered to stay at home, except for essential trips.
British authorities on April 5 reported 195,524 were tested and 47,806 tested positive. Hospitalizations reached 16,700 while 4,934 patients have died.
“We mourn their passing, and we offer our profound sympathies to their families and friends. I’ve lost two people that I was fond of, so I understand what a difficult time this is for the country,” Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, said at a press conference.
Authorities have said they want to test 100,000 people a day by the end of the month.
The virus is believed to primarily spread between people in close contact through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Recent evidence shows that some people infected with the virus never show symptoms, while they and others who ultimately show symptoms can pass on the illness even when showing no signs of being sick.
Ways to avoid getting infected include frequently washing hands, especially after visiting public places and before eating; not touching one’s eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; avoiding crowds; and wearing a mask and gloves when leaving home.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.