British PM Boris Johnson’s symptoms worsened and he was moved to ICU on Monday (Photo by Reuters)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit at about 7 PM local time on Monday after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. His Downing Street office said he was still conscious.
The 55-year-old PM was first admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday evening for “routine tests,” saying on social media that he was in “good spirits.” He was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 27, and had been having persistent symptoms with a high temperature and persistent cough during his self-isolation in an apartment at Downing Street for 10 days before hospitalization.
Downing Street said he had been moved to the intensive care unit as “a precaution should he require ventilation to aid his recovery.”
The abrupt change in the leader’s health has shocked the nation, as the country battles a pandemic that has killed more than 5,000 people in the UK.
Britain has no formal succession plan should the prime minister become incapacitated, but Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputize for him.
Raab chaired Monday’s regular morning coronavirus briefing and made a televised statement saying that the government will continue Johnson’s direction in responding to the outbreak.
Sterling fell by nearly a cent against the U.S. dollar on the news about Johnson. The pound fell to as low as $1.221, from $1.230 earlier.
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