UK prime minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests after his condition deteriorated, 10 days after testing positive for Coronavirus, though Downing Street, his official residence said he remained in charge of the government.
According to media outlets including the Guardian, Johnson, who was isolating himself in Downing Street after testing positive last month, still had a high temperature and so his doctors felt he should go to an undisclosed hospital for tests in what the government said was a “precautionary step”.
“On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” his Downing Street office said in a statement.
Johnson was expected to stay overnight.
“This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus,” the statement added.
News of his hospitalization came only after an hour after delivered a rallying call to the British public saying they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute.
Downing Street refused to say what tests Johnson was to have in the hospital, but experts said a person of the prime minister’s age with COVID-19 symptoms after 10 days would be likely be assessed for their oxygen levels, lung, liver and heart functions, and undergo an electrocardiogram heart check.
Doctors managing COVID-19 patients had reported that more men than women had serious problems and patients who were overweight or had previous health issues were at a higher risk.
Johnson, 55, on March 27 became the first leader of a major power to announce that he had tested positive. He went into isolation at an apartment in Downing Street and said on Friday he was staying there as he still had a high temperature.
Downing Street underscored that this was not an emergency admission and that Johnson remained in charge of the government. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will chair the government’s emergency COVID-19 meeting on Monday, a source said.
The pound briefly fell 0.4% vs the U.S. dollar to $1.2215 before trimming some losses to trade at $1.2230, down 0.3%.
Queen Elizabeth had been informed of Johnson’s admission to hospital, Buckingham Palace said. It made no further comment.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Johnson was a “strong man” as he passed on his nation’s best wishes.
“All Americans are praying for him,” Trump told a news conference.
“He’s a friend of mine, he’s a great gentleman and a great leader, and as you know he went to the hospital today but I’m hopeful and sure that he’s going to be fine,”Trump added
Health officials said on Sunday the UK death toll from the coronavirus had risen by 621 to 4,934.