Boris Johnson 'stable' and 'in good spirits' for second night in intensive care

7 April 2020, 13:21

File photo: Boris Johnson is receiving standard oxygen treatment
File photo: Boris Johnson is receiving standard oxygen treatment. Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

Boris Johnson remains stable and "in good spirits" in an intensive care unit, a Number 10 spokesman has confirmed.

Boris Johnson was rushed to intensive care last night as his condition worsened.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister’s condition is stable and he remains in intensive care for close monitoring. He is in good spirits.”

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Earlier it was confirmed: "He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance.

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

Mr Johnson has also not been diagnosed with pneumonia.

The spokesman added that the government has a "very clear plan" for responding to the coronavirus pandemic and the mood in government is "determined".

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".

In Mr Johnson's absence, Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State, will stand in for him "whenever necessary", including leading the daily meetings of the coronavirus "war cabinet".

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It has also been revealed by Number 10 that Rishi Sunak will take over prime ministerial duties if Dominic Raab is taken ill with coronavirus while Boris Johnson is incapacitated - the so-called order of "designated survivor".

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."

Ministers insisted that despite Mr Johnson's absence, along with other key No 10 figures, the business of government was continuing as normal.

Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove said they were committed to following the Prime Minister's plan for tackling the virus.

"We're all working together to implement the plan the Prime Minister set out in order to try to ensure that we can marshal all the resources of government, indeed all the resources of our country, in the fight against this invisible enemy," he told BBC Breakfast.

"We have a superb Civil Service and they have ensured that the machinery is there for decisions to be made by ministers, by medical and scientific experts, and for those decisions to be followed through in a way which enables us to help those at the front line."