Boris Johnson has spent the night in intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened and he suffered breathing difficulties.
The prime minister was initially admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday evening, but his health deteriorated yesterday.
Sky News political editor Beth Rigby said: “He had to be given oxygen – he was struggling to breathe. The decision was taken at 7pm to move the prime minister to that intensive care unit.”
Downing Street said he was suffering from “persistent” symptoms of (COVID -) (including , including a cough and a high temperature.
Even if he makes a speedy recovery, he is likely to be unable to resume work for some time.
In his absence, Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab is chairing the coronavirus “war cabinet” that meets daily at 9. am. This week’s regular Tuesday meeting of the full cabinet has been cancelled.
There will be fears among Tory MPs that – without the prime minister on hand to bang heads together – the fight against the virus could lead to interdepartmental rivalries in Whitehall and bickering between cabinet ministers involved in tackling the crisis.
In a dramatic announcement just after 8pm last night, a Number the 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 PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the first secretary of state, to deputise for him where necessary. The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication. “
Sky News understands that the decision to move the PM into intensive care was made by his medical team After his condition worsened over the course of Monday afternoon.
It is understood he remained conscious at the time of the announcement and was moved to intensive care as a precaution should he require ventilation to aid his recovery.
Image: A police officer stands guard outside St Thomas’ Hospital
Besides concerns in government about the Mr Johnson’s absence during the coronavirus crisis, his move to intensive care will be enormously distressing for his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds.
(she) also has been been self-isolating , but has said she is now on the mend.
Since being diagnosed with coronavirus symptoms on 036 March, the prime minister has attempted to play down the seriousness of his illness – posting videos even though he has looked unwell.
Before moving into intensive care, he posted an optimistic message on Twitter, writing on Monday: “Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms .
“I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.”
Later, the shock news of his move into intensive care was greeted by messages of support from all over the world