British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized Sunday after he has continued to exhibit covid-19 symptoms in the 10 days since his diagnosis, according to multiple reports. Johnson’s office elaborated that he was admitted to an undisclosed London facility for additional testing based on advice from his doctor, not due to an emergency situation.
“This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus,” officials said in a press statement.
On March 27, Johnson became the first major world leader to announce he’d tested positive for covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. In a video posted to Twitter, he described his symptoms as “mild” at the time, which included fever and a persistent cough, and he has remained in isolation at an apartment on Downing Street since.
“I am working from home, I’m self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do,” Johnson said in the video. “But, be in no doubt, that I can continue thanks to the wizardy of modern technology.”
The prime minister tweeted an update video Friday—appearing noticeably worse for wear—in which he explained that although he was feeling better, his high temperature had persisted. Officials said Johnson’s temperature remained high into Sunday, prompting concern from his doctor.
Since Johnson’s diagnosis, both the country’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, and chief medical officer, Chris Witty, have displayed covid-19 symptoms and entered self-isolation. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Johnson’s designated second-in-command should he become incapacitated, will lead a government’s meeting on the outbreak Monday.
To date, roughly 48,000 people have been diagnosed with covid-19 and 4,934 have died in the UK, officials said Sunday. Since the beginning of March, the country has gone through a dramatic reversal in its coronavirus response, with government officials pivoting from a controversial herd immunity strategy that threatened to result in thousands of deaths to a national lockdown.