BORIS Johnson remains seriously ill – close to a ventilator – after being transferred to intensive care at St Thomas’ in London.
Pals and leaders around the world have praised the PM’s fighting spirit and mental toughness, saying he is “far fitter than he looks”.
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How is Boris Johnson doing?
The PM’s Covid-19 infection worsened yesterday, and he began to struggle to breathe and needed oxygen.
As he was already in St Thomas’ Hospital, he was transferred to the intensive care ward, where he will be closely looked after by ICU staff.
Intensive care is needed if someone is seriously ill and requires intensive treatment and close monitoring, according to the NHS.
“Most people in an ICU have problems with one or more organs. For example, they may be unable to breathe on their own.
“Common reasons include a serious infection, such as sepsis or severe pneumonia,” the service explains.
Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ late on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms, including a high temperature and a cough, for more than ten days.
But, his condition rapidly plummeted over the next 24 hours, and he was moved to an intensive care unit, where the most serious coronavirus cases are being treated.
Although Mr Johnson had received oxygen for breathing problems, his office said yesterday that he was still conscious and was moved to intensive care in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
In a further update, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told LBC radio this morning: “He’s not on a ventilator no.
“The PM has received some oxygen support and he is kept under, of course, close supervision.
“[Mr Johnson] is in intensive care, being looked after by his medical team, receiving the very, very best care from the team at St Thomas’.”
Mr Gove said he wasn’t sure whether there has been a diagnosis of pneumonia.
Another pal, Will Walden, Mr Johnson’s former director of communications when he was London mayor, said he’s “far fitter than he looks”.
He explained to BBC Radio 4 that there were no major underlying health conditions, while pointing out that Mr Johnson “will whip anybody’s backside on a tennis court – he runs regularly, he doesn’t smoke and he drinks moderately.
“So I think if anyone is in a good position both physically and mentally to fight off the disease then the Prime Minister is that person.”
Former PM, David Cameron, said: “You are in great hands and we all want you safe, well and back in 10 Downing Street.”
There has been no change in his condition overnight, two sources close to him said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
When was he admitted in to intensive care?
Boris Johnson was last night rushed to intensive care as his fight against coronavirus dramatically worsened.
Equipment that may be used on an ICU includes a ventilator – a machine that helps with breathing – via a tube.
He will be attached to monitoring equipment to measure important bodily functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure and the level of oxygen in the blood.
Mr Johnson is also likely to have IV lines and pumps – tubes inserted into a vein (intravenously) to provide fluids, nutrition and medication.
Doctors watching the PM closely at London’s St Thomas’ hospital had become alarmed at his deterioration yesterday afternoon.
When did he first have coronavirus symptoms?
- March 27: Mr Johnson announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating with “mild symptoms” including a high temperature and persistent cough. Health secretary Matt Hancock was diagnosed with the disease too, while Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, went into isolation after displaying symptoms. The PM’s pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, also self-isolated after suffering coronavirus symptoms.
- March 28: One day after revealing that he had contracted the bug, he chaired a meeting of the Covid-19 war cabinet, from 11 Downing Street. Working alone, Mr Johnson began holding meetings by video link.
- March 29: Mr Johnson posted a video message, saying: “We are going to do it, we are going to do it together. One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is such a thing as society.”
- March 30: He tweeted: “Thank you to the 20,000 former staff coming back to the NHS.” But, after chairing another cabinet meeting, sources revealed that during such video calls, he was “coughing and spluttering” his way through them.
- March 31: Still in isolation, Mr Johnson warned the pandemic was “going to get worse before it gets better” in the UK. He urged people to follow social distancing rules to save lives.
- April 1: A clearly poorly PM shared a video on his Twitter account, where he said: “We will beat coronavirus together by staying at home, protecting our NHS and saving lives.”
- April 2: Downing Street maintained that Mr Johnson was only suffering “mild symptoms”. The PM appeared for the first time in public after his diagnosis, clapping for carers from the step of 11 Downing Street, where he was still self-isolating.
- April 3: He posted an update on Twitter, saying he was continuing to lead the Covid-19 battle from self-isolation, as he still had a high temperature. By comparison, Matt Hancock had returned to Westminster, one week after testing positive to the disease.
- April 4: The Mail on Sunday quoted a source as saying that the PM, “has not been resting enough and is still leading from the front. Obviously that is beginning to slow down his recovery. He needs to go to bed.”
- April 5: Mr Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital late on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms, including a high temperature and a cough, for more than ten days.
- April 6: The Prime Minister was moved to intensive care on Monday after his coronavirus symptoms worsened, and he was given oxygen as he was struggling to breathe. Before his transfer, he asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him.
- April 7: Mr Johnson remains in St Thomas’ ICU, close to a ventilator, while being closely monitored around-the-clock.
Who is standing in for Boris while he’s in hospital?
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, 46, is now deputising for the PM.
His additional title of First Secretary or State meant he was second-in-line to take over the prime minister’s responsibilities.
Last night, Mr Raab said: “The Prime Minister asked me to deputise for him, where necessary, in driving forward the Government’s plans to defeat coronavirus.
“As you’ll know he’s been receiving excellent care at St Thomas’s hospital.”