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Boris Johnson 'Struggling to Breathe' as Condition Worsens

British prime minister in intensive care unit as COVID-19 symptoms remain persistent

 on 7th April 2020 @ 12.00pm
boris johnson is reportedly  struggling to breathe  while in intensive care with covid 19 © press
Boris Johnson is reportedly 'struggling to breathe' while in intensive care with COVID-19

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly "struggling to breathe" and receiving "oxygen support" in hospital after being moved to the intensive care unit on Monday evening when his COVID-19 symptoms worsened.

PM Johnson spent the night in the ICU after his coronavirus symptoms - which have remained persistent for 11 days after he tested positive for the Chinese virus - worsened and he is now suffering breathing difficulties.

On Sunday evening, the prime minister was initially admitted to St Thomas' Hospital in London, but his health deteriorated rapidly on Monday.

In a statement, Downing Street says Johnson is suffering from "persistent" symptoms of the coronavirus, including high temperature and cough.

The 55-year-old leader's worsening condition is a severe blow to the government.

Even if the PM makes a swift recovery, it now seems unlikely he'll be able to fully resume work for some time.

boris johnson has asked foreign secretary dominic raab  who is the first secretary of state  to deputise for him where necessary © press
Boris Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the first secretary of state, to deputise for him where necessary

According to Sky News, Mr. Johnson "had to be given oxygen - he was struggling to breathe.

"The decision was taken at 7 pm to move the prime minister to that intensive care unit."

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said Mr. Johnson has received "oxygen support" but has not been on a ventilator.

"He is not on a ventilator. The prime minister has received some oxygen support," he told LBC.

"He is kept, of course, under close supervision.

"By being in intensive care if there is further support he needs it is there at hand.

"But the prime minister has not been on a ventilator."

In his absence, Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab is chairing the coronavirus "war cabinet" that meets daily at 9.15 am.

This week's regular Tuesday meeting of the full cabinet has been canceled.

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 8 pm last night, a Number 10 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 deputize for him where necessary.

"The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication."

boris johnson looked unwell on saturday as he posted videos to twitter and attempted to downplay his symptoms © press
Boris Johnson looked unwell on Saturday as he posted videos to Twitter and attempted to downplay his symptoms

The decision to move the PM into intensive care was reportedly 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.

Besides concerns in government about Mr. Johnson's absence during the coronavirus crisis, his move to intensive care will be enormously distressing for his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds.

She has also been self-isolating but has said she is now on the mend.

Since being diagnosed with coronavirus symptoms on 26 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, and from political allies and opponents in the UK.

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