British Prime Minister ‘Stable’ After Intensive CareUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was stable in intensive care on Tuesday after receiving oxygen support to help him battle COVID-19, while his foreign minister led the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak.
“He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance,” Johnson’s spokesman, who traditionally speaks without his name being published, told reporters.
“The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits,” the spokesman said. “He has not required mechanical ventilation, or non-invasive respiratory support.”
Johnson is the first leader of a major world power to suffer so drastically from coronavirus complications.
The 55-year-old politician was first admitted to hospital on Sunday night, after suffering from a high temperature and cough for over 10 days.
“Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” Downing Street 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 statement continued.
“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication,” the statement said.
But the absence of Johnson, the first leader of a major power to be hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, has raised questions about who is truly in charge of the world’s fifth-largest economy at such a crucial time.
While Britain has no formal succession plan should a prime minister become incapacitated, Johnson asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, 46, to deputise for him “where necessary,” Downing Street said.
Johnson’s personal battle with the virus comes as the country enters what scientists say is likely to be one of the most deadly weeks of the pandemic.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said he asked U.S. pharmaceutical companies working on experimental COVID-19 drugs to offer their help to Johnson’s doctors.