London – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been transferred to intensive care because of his COVID 19 illness. His condition deteriorated over the course of the afternoon, a government spokeswoman for the German Press Agency in London confirmed.
The 55-year-old was brought to St. Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday. He had already made his infection with the novel pathogen public on March 27.
Johnson had hired Secretary of State Dominic Raab to represent him where necessary, an official communication from Downing Street said. “The Prime Minister is in excellent hands and thanks to all employees of the (health service) NHS for their hard work and commitment.” According to media reports, Johnson is conscious.
“My thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family – I send him all the best wishes,” tweeted the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak also said on Twitter that his thoughts were with Johnson and his pregnant fiance Carrie Symonds.
Symonds also spent a week in bed with symptoms of lung disease. The couple announced their engagement at the end of February. The baby is said to be born in early summer.
After Johnson found out about his infection, he continued to work in isolation at the Downing Street government. In his video messages about the pandemic, he was optimistic, but he already looked battered and had also lost a lot of weight. He had to be brought to the clinic on Sunday.
On Monday, Johnson told Twitter that he had gone to the hospital on the advice of his doctor “for some routine tests”. According to a government spokesman, he suffered from a fever and cough. Some British media, however, wrote of a serious lung disease; Johnson has already been ventilated. Foreign Minister Raab already represented him at a meeting.
In early March, the prime minister bragged about shaking hands in a hospital, including COVID 19 patients. He would continue to do that, he said at the time.
The British government is under considerable pressure in the fight against the pandemic: a lurching course wasted valuable time in containing the outbreak. The chronically under-financed health service NHS (National Health Service) also does not have enough tests, protective equipment, and respirators. According to British media, the first clinics even reported a lack of oxygen for respiratory ventilation.