Boris Johnson has been admitted to intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms “worsened”, the government has announced.
The prime minister revealed on Friday 27 March that he had tested positive for the virus, but said that he would continue to work while self-isolating. On Sunday he was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, London, with “persistent symptoms”.
A statement from Downing Street said: “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 is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab will now deputise “where necessary”, according to the statement.
Cardinal Nichols, president of the bishops’ conference, said that Johnson “has a personal fight on his hands against the vicious coronavirus and needs our prayers. Let us pray for him, all who are suffering and our NHS workers caring for them.”
The hashtag #PrayForBoris began to trend on Twitter, as figures from across the political spectrum said they were praying for the prime minister’s recovery.
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat tweeted: “Keep fighting PM. I know the prayers of millions are with you. God’s strength to you,” while Labour’s Florence Eshalomi wrote: “Where are all the prayer warriors. We need to keep @BorisJohnson in our prayers.”
Former prime minister Theresa May said her “thoughts and prayers are with @BorisJohnson and his family as he continues to receive treatment in hospital. This horrific virus does not discriminate. Anyone can get it. Anyone can spread it.” Johnson’s successor as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he was “Praying for the Prime Minister’s swift recovery tonight.”