Boris Johnson spent the night in intensive care receiving oxygen treatment after his coronavirus symptoms worsened

Police officers outside St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Getty

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent Monday night in an intensive-care unit after his condition deteriorated.

Johnson, who a spokesman said was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday with “persistent” symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, was moved into intensive care at about 7 p.m. in London on Monday.

He has been given oxygen treatment but has not yet been placed on a ventilator, Downing Street indicated on Tuesday morning.

Johnson’s spokesman said the prime minister was moved into intensive care as a precautionary measure in case he needed a ventilator.

The Times of London said sources inside the hospital suggested the prime minister “needed 4 litres of oxygen in intensive care” but had not yet been intubated – the process by which a tube is inserted into the windpipe before ventilation.

The paper said “the normal threshold for intensive care is 15 litres, suggesting that he was in better health than such patients generally.”

Dominic Raab, the UK’s foreign secretary, is standing in for Johnson while he is treated.

Raab told the BBC he would deputize for the prime minister “where necessary,” adding that “there is an incredibly strong team spirit behind the prime minister.”

Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill broke the news to the rest of the Cabinet via a video call, Sky News reported.

One minister who was present in the meeting described it as a “truly shocking” moment, according to the Times of London.

The UK’s chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, told the BBC that the whole cabinet would lead the country’s response to the virus in Johnson’s absence.

“We’re all working together to implement the plan that the prime minister set out to make sure we can marshal all the resources of government and this country to fight this invisible enemy,” Gove said.

Several of Johnson’s senior aides are also experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Johnson spent over a week in self-isolation after developing symptoms of COVID-19 before he was taken to the hospital on Sunday for tests.

As of Monday morning, Downing Street had insisted that the prime minister was still running the UK government.

Johnson’s spokesman had said the prime minister was in “good spirits” and was “comfortable” after spending Sunday night at the hospital in central London.

His condition significantly worsened later in the day, however, prompting doctors to move him into intensive care.

Johnson receives warm wishes from around the world

Donald Trump

Johnson received warm wishes from around the world and across the political spectrum.

President Donald Trump told a press briefing that “Americans are all praying for his recovery,” adding that “he’s been a very good friend.”

He added that his administration had contacted “all of Johnson’s doctors” and told them that he had asked two unnamed medical companies who worked on treatments for AIDS and Ebola to offer the prime minister support.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he sent “all my support to Boris Johnson, to his family, and to the British people at this difficult moment.”

Keir Starmer, the new leader of the opposition Labour Party, described the news as “terribly sad.”

“All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” he tweeted.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “Thinking of @BorisJohnson and his family tonight. Get well soon. You are in great hands and we all want you safe, well and back in @10DowningStreet.”