Boris Johnson is spending a second night in intensive care and is in a ‘stable’ condition

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Getty

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will remain in intensive care but is in a “stable” condition and is in “good spirits,” his spokesperson said on Tuesday evening.

Johnson, who 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.

“The Prime Minister’s condition is stable and he remains in intensive care for close monitoring. He is in good spirits,” the spokesperson said.

His spokesman said earlier on Tuesday that Johnson was receiving oxygen treatment but did not yet require mechanical assistance with his breathing through a ventilator. “He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance,” his spokesman said.

The spokesman also said the prime minister did not have pneumonia.

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

The Times of London on Tuesday had reported that 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.”

Johnson’s spokesman, however, denied that the prime minister was receiving special treatment above more serious cases.

“There is significant spare capacity in intensive-care units in hospitals in London and across the United Kingdom,” he said.

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

“The PM sent the message that he wanted the foreign secretary to assume some of his responsibilities where appropriate,” his spokesman said on Tuesday.

He added that if Raab also became ill, then Chancellor Rishi Sunak would step in to deputize for him.

Raab told the BBC that 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 ICU 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 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 COVID-19 symptoms before he was taken to the hospital on Sunday for tests.

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

UK rejects Trump’s offer of help with Johnson’s treatment

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump. Getty

President Donald Trump told a press briefing on Monday that “Americans are all praying for his recovery,” adding that Johnson had “been a very good friend.”

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

Johnson’s spokesman rejected the offer on Tuesday, saying “any treatment he receives is a matter for his doctors.”

“On this specific point, we are grateful for all of the warm wishes the prime minister has received overnight,” the person said.

“We’re confident the prime minister is receiving the best possible care from the National Health Service,” he added. “Any treatment he receives is a matter for his doctors.”

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 Johnson had been admitted to the ICU 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.”

This article has been updated.