Johnson has been battling the virus for 10 days, and has remained in quarantine with a persisting high temperature. According to the BBC, he was admitted to hospital as a “precautionary step” advised by his doctor. It is believed the hospital admission, which was revealed around 9:30PM local time, is not an emergency, and is largely for routine testing; however, he is expected to remain overnight.
A Downing Street spokesperson 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.”
The U.K.’s first secretary of state Dominic Raab is to chair the government’s Monday morning meeting.
Johnson, who was revealed to have tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, was seen on Thursday applauding the country’s health service from his front door as part of a weekly nationwide show of support for the NHS, which has been overwhelmed by the country’s coronavirus outbreak. He has been working from home for the past 10 days, most recently chairing a meeting via video conference on Friday.
Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child, tweeted Saturday that she has “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.”
News of the prime minister’s hospitalization comes just hours after a rare televised address to the nation by Queen Elizabeth, rallying the U.K. against the coronavirus.
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” said the Queen, in what was only her fifth such address over her 68-year reign. “This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed — and that success will belong to every one of us.
“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again,” said the monarch.”
The U.K. has registered 4,934 deaths thus far, with a spike of 621 deaths between Saturday and Sunday. The nation has reported close to 48,000 positive cases of coronavirus.