LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting worsening coronavirus symptoms in an intensive care unit on Tuesday, leaving his foreign minister to lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak.
Johnson’s personal battle with the virus has shaken the British government just as the United Kingdom enters what scientists say is likely to be one of the most deadly weeks of the pandemic, which has killed 70,000 people worldwide.
Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital across the River Thames from the House of Commons late on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms, including a high temperature and a cough, for more than 10 days.
His condition rapidly deteriorated over the next 24 hours, and he was moved to an intensive care unit – where the most serious cases are treated. Although he had received oxygen, his office said he was still conscious and was moved to intensive care in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
“The prime minister is in intensive care, being looked after by his medical team, receiving the very, very best care from the team at St Thomas’ and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family,” Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.
“…We all hope that he can be restored to health as quickly as possible and that’s all we’re thinking about at the moment,” Gove said.
While Britain has no formal succession plan should a prime minister become incapacitated, Johnson had asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputize for him “where necessary,” Downing Street said.Read More….