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UK's Johnson is stable in ICU with virus, received oxygen

Boris stable in ICU

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in stable condition Tuesday in a hospital intensive care unit with the coronavirus, and while he is not on a ventilator, he is receiving oxygen, his spokesman said.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has taken over many of Johnson’s duties temporarily while he is being treated at St. Thomas’ Hospital. Britain has no official post of deputy prime minister.

The 55-year-old Johnson is the first major world leader to be confirmed to have COVID-19. He was admitted to the hospital late Sunday with a fever and cough that persisted 10 days after he was diagnosed with the virus. He was moved to the ICU Monday evening after his condition worsened.

“The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance," said Johnson's spokesman, James Slack.

He said Johnson was not receiving mechanical ventilation or “noninvasive respiratory support.” He would not give details of what form of oxygen treatment the prime minister was getting.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said Johnson was “receiving the very, very best care from the team at St. Thomas’ and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family.”

“It was a shock yesterday to hear the news of his going into intensive care," said Gove, who is in isolation at home after a family member showed mild coronavirus symptoms. "All of us just want him to pull through — he is the leader of our country. He is a big-hearted, generous-spirited guy. who believes in public service. We are rooting for him.”

Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, is herself recovering from coronavirus symptoms.

Raab said “the government’s business will continue” despite the prime minister's hospitalization.

He said Johnson had asked him “to deputize for him where needed in driving forward the government’s plans to defeat coronavirus.”

The deterioration of Johnson’s health took many in Britain by surprise. On Monday afternoon, he tweeted that he was in good spirits and thanked the National Health Service for taking care of him and others with the disease.



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