Boris Johnson spends night in hospital as he battles coronavirus

Boris Johnson spends night in hospital as he battles coronavirus

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spent the night in hospital after he was admitted for tests as his coronavirus symptoms persist.

He 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.

The news came just an hour after the British Queen delivered a message of hope to the nation amid the Covid-19 pandemic, saying “we will overcome it” although we “may have more still to endure”.

A total of 4,934 patients – including frontline healthcare workers – have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK according to the latest figures issued by the UK Department of Health.

Mr Johnson, 55, 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.”

US President Donald Trump was among the well-wishers, starting Sunday night’s White House press briefing by saying Mr Johnson was “a great friend of mine” and adding: “I’m sure he is going to be fine, he’s a strong man, a strong person.”

In a rare televised address to the nation, Queen Elizabeth personally thanked frontline NHS staff, care workers and others for “selflessly” carrying out their essential roles which had brought “us closer to a return to more normal times”.

She thanked others for staying at homes, separated from friends and family, and echoed the words of Forces’ sweetheart Vera Lynne’s Second World War anthem, when she said “we will meet again”.

It came as:

– Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, resigned following criticism for visiting her second home and not adhering to social distancing advice.

– The UK Department of Health said the number of reported coronavirus-related hospital deaths had risen by 621 to 4,934 as of 5pm on Saturday, up from 4,313 the day before.

– 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.

– UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned outdoor exercise could be banned if people continued to flout the social distancing rules.

Mr Johnson remains “in charge of the Government” and in contact with ministerial colleagues and officials despite his hospital admission, a spokesman said.

But de facto deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, is expected to chair the daily Covid-19 meeting on Monday morning in Mr Johnson’s place.

His persistent symptoms are understood to include a high temperature, and it was considered sensible for doctors to see the British PM in person.

Mr Johnson’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds said on Saturday that she was “on the mend” after spending a week in bed after also suffering coronavirus symptoms.

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March (Yui Mok/PA)
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March (Yui Mok/PA)

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.

Mr Johnson 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 key workers on Thursday evening.

Mr Johnson has not been seen publicly since, but spoke to new Labour leader Keir Starmer on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Starmer wished Mr Johnson a “speedy recovery” after the announcement.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

More on this topic

Holohan ‘little bit worried’ about rise in ICU admissionsHolohan ‘little bit worried’ about rise in ICU admissions

Minister breaks ranks and calls for social distancing rules to be relaxedMinister breaks ranks and calls for social distancing rules to be relaxed

CMO rejects Ryanair criticism of quarantine measuresCMO rejects Ryanair criticism of quarantine measures

Dogs make morale-boosting visit to seals missing their usual visitorsDogs make morale-boosting visit to seals missing their usual visitors