Boris Johnson spends night in intensive care as 'precaution'

7 April 2020, 05:09

Boris Johnson was taken to hospital on Friday
Boris Johnson was taken to hospital on Friday. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Prime Minister has been moved to an intensive care unit (ICU) one day after being hospitalised for persistent coronavirus symptoms.

Boris Johnson was moved to the ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London at around 7PM.

The decision was made by the PM’s medical team after his condition worsened over the course of Monday afternoon.

Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab will deputise for him where necessary.

The PM remains conscious at this time, but has been moved to the ICU as a precaution should he require ventilation to aid his recovery.

The cabinet was informed of the Prime Minister's condition via video call and were told the Prime Minister was not on a ventilator.

Dominic Raab said the Prime Minister is in "safe hands" and has been receiving "excellent care" at St Thomas' Hospital, adding the government was focused on "making sure we can defeat coronavirus".

He added: "There's an incredibly strong team spirit behind the Prime Minister, and making sure that we get all of the plans the Prime Minister's instructed us to deliver, to get them implemented as soon as possible.

"And that's the way it will bring the whole country through the coronavirus challenge that we face right now.

Mr Raab confirmed it was over the course of Monday afternoon that the PM's condition had deteriorated.

"Since Sunday the Prime Minister has been under the medical care of the team at St Thomas's hospital after he was admitted with persistent coronavirus symptoms," he said.

"During the course of this afternoon, the Prime Minister's condition worsened and, on the advice of the medical team, he's moved to a critical care unit.

"So in light of those circumstances, the Prime Minister asked me as First Secretary to deputise for him where necessary in driving forward the Government's plans to defeat coronavirus.

"And, as you'll know, he's been receiving excellent care at St Thomas's hospital, and we'd like to take this opportunity as a Government to thank NHS staff up and down the country for all of their dedication, hard work and commitment in treating everyone who's been affected by this awful virus."

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.

"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 deputise for him where necessary.

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

The Queen has been kept informed by Downing Street about Prime Minister Boris Johnson's condition, Buckingham Palace said.

Two uniformed police officers were stationed at the entrance to St Thomas' Hospital on Monday evening where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being treated in intensive care.

Throughout the day officers and police vehicles could be seen entering and exiting the central London hospital.

The Prime Minister is at St Thomas' Hospital
The Prime Minister is at St Thomas' Hospital. Picture: PA

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "My thoughts are with the PM and his family - sending him every good wish."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: "Praying for the Prime Minister's swift recovery tonight. @GSTTnhs has some of the finest medical staff in the world, and he couldn't be in safer hands."

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: "This is terrible news. I know the thoughts and prayers of everyone across the House are with the Prime Minister and his family right now.

"We all wish him a speedy recovery."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "Sending my best wishes to Prime Minister @BorisJohnson for a full and speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you and your family right now. Hope to see you back at Number 10 soon."

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tweeted: "The news that our Prime Minister has been moved to intensive care deepens our compassion for all who are seriously ill and for those caring for them. I invite all people of faith to join me in praying for @BorisJohnson and his loved ones."

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage posted on Twitter: "I hope and pray for @BorisJohnson to come through this ordeal quickly."

Business minister Nadim Zahawi tweeted: "Thoughts & prayers for @BorisJohnson & @carriesymonds and their family. I have known Boris for 20 years he is a fighter and will beat this virus."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: "My thoughts tonight are with @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds. I know he'll be getting the best care possible and will come out of this even stronger."

Members of the newly-formed shadow cabinet also offered their support for the PM.

New Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted: "Terribly sad news. All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time."

Shadow justice secretary David Lammy tweeted: "Awful news. My very best wishes to the Prime Minister, as well as his partner Carrie, family and friends. Get well soon @BorisJohnson."

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner posted: "Sending my best wishes at this worrying time to the PM @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds and hoping that his condition stabilises in his battle with #Coronavirus."

And shadow deputy mental health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted: "I wish the Prime Minister a full and speedy recovery and thank the NHS team looking after him and everyone at St Thomas'.

"Coronavirus can affect anyone, the symptoms can be really awful. Please, please, remind your friends and family to stay at home!"

A chief medic has told LBC what being in ICU means and why he is in there.

Professor Paul Hunter explains that if a patient is placed in an intensive care unit, it means they are "very sick", for example a patient is struggling to breathe by themselves or maintain their cardiovascular system.

It is when "you need a lot of nursing and technical care to keep you going," the professor said.

Professor Hunter said that for people who go into intensive care with Covid-19 the average time people spend there is four or five days, although there is "considerable variation."

"Whether you survive or not you tend to be in intensive care for an average of four to five days."