Boris Johnson admitted to hospital as coronavirus symptoms persist
By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor
Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests as his coronavirus symptoms persist, Downing Street has said.
The Prime Minister will stay for “as long as needed” in the London NHS hospital where he was taken as a “precautionary step” on the advice of his doctor – rather than as an emergency.
He tested positive for the virus 10 days ago, and has been in self-isolation inside his Downing Street flat since.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests.
“This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
“The Prime Minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
He remains “in charge of the Government” despite his hospital admission, a spokesman said, but his de facto deputy Dominic Raab is expected to chair the daily Covid-19 meeting on Monday morning for ministers and officials.
Number 10 said the PM remains in contact with ministerial colleagues and officials.
Mr Johnson’s persistent symptoms are understood to include a high temperature, and it was considered sensible for doctors to see the PM in person.
The Prime Minister revealed on March 27 that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating with “mild symptoms” including a high temperature and persistent cough.
He has shared several video updates from his Number 11 flat since the diagnosis, and stepped outside to join the nationwide clap for NHS staff on Thursday evening.
Mr Johnson has not been seen publicly since, but spoke to new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on Saturday afternoon.
Sir Keir wished the PM a “speedy recovery” after the announcement.
Shortly after the news broke, Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, resigned following criticism for visiting her second home and not adhering to social distancing advice.
Earlier on Sunday evening, the Queen made a rare address to the nation, in which she said if we “remain united and resolute” in the face of the outbreak “we will overcome it”.
The head of state warned the country “may have more still to endure”, but echoed the words of Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera Lynne as she said: “We will meet again.”
Meanwhile, Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow confirmed Lynsay Coventry, 54, who died on Thursday, was the first serving midwife to die after testing positive for the virus.
The Department of Health said the number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths stood at 4,934 patients as of 5pm on Saturday, up by 621 from 4,313 the day before.
Mr Johnson’s pregnant fiancee said on Saturday that she was “on the mend” after also suffering coronavirus symptoms.
The 32-year-old, who is expecting the couple’s baby in early summer, has been self-isolating in Camberwell, south London, with the couple’s dog Dilyn.
She said on Saturday: “I’ve spent the past week in bed with the main symptoms of Coronavirus. I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend.”