Prime Minister 'stable' after night in intensive care, Downing Street confirms

Boris Johnson's condition has been described as "stable" after he spent the night in intensive care while suffering the symptoms of coronavirus.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 1:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 1:32 pm

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said this afternoon Mr Johnson had been receiving “standard oxygen treatment” but had not required any other assistance in breathing.

Mr Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, on Monday evening, after his condition deteriorated.

His spokesman said the move was a “precautionary step” in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.

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Police officers outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care as his coronavirus symptoms persist. Photo: PA

“The Prime Minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits,” the spokesman said.

“He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance.

“He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”

Mr Johnson was originally admitted to St Thomas’ on Sunday on the advice of his doctor after continuing to display symptoms of cough and high temperature ten days after testing positive for the virus.

The speed of the Prime Minister’s decline has caused palpable shock at Westminster after his symptoms were previously described as “mild”.

His spokesman, however, rejected claims that No 10 had sought to hide the seriousness of his condition.

“We have been fully frank with you throughout,” the spokesman told reporters.

“We have issued you with regular updates on the Prime Minister’s health.

“His condition worsened yesterday afternoon. A decision was taken that he needed to be moved to an intensive care unit at around 7pm.

“We informed you all as soon as was practically possible. We have a commitment to be as transparent as we can be throughout this process.”

It came as former cabinet member and Tory peer Baroness (Nicky) Morgan described Mr Johnson’s condition as “worrying”, adding she understood it was “very much a skeleton staff now” at Downing Street.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live’s The Emma Barnett Show: “I think, like everybody else, absolutely stunned and shocked and this is deeply worrying. I think we’re all hoping that this is precautionary and thinking of him, but also family and friends at this time… anyone can catch this virus and no-one is immune.”

She added, on Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputising for the PM: “Dominic is incredibly capable, there is no way that he would have wanted to be in this situation…I think the reason that people have been so stunned and taken aback and feel so involved with the Prime Minister’s health, is because Boris Johnson is Prime Minister, he gets a lot of coverage. Obviously he was very front and centre in an election campaign which seems like a million years ago, but was only a couple of months ago, and people invest an awful lot of hope in their leaders at this time of national crisis.

“I think it’s important to remember that we have a cabinet Government and while Dominic absolutely has been asked to deputise for the PM and will do so extremely well, he has a lot of colleagues around him who will be helping him to take that on.”