The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was brought to an intensive care unit in London on Monday, April 6 after being hospitalized hours earlier for persistent coronavirus symptoms. He announced that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Sars-CoV2) on March 27.
Since falling ill, he was adamant that he would be able to lead the country by way of technology, especially since his reported symptoms were mild. Earlier on Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the public that despite his hospitalization, Johnson was still in charge.
Reports indicate that Johnson has instructed Raab to deputize “where necessary” if he were unable to fulfill his role in the short term.
Rallying around the PM
Since news broke of Johnson’s hospitalization, world leaders have expressed their well-wishes to the PM and his family. US President Donald Trump said that “all Americans are praying for him,” while the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, urged Johnson to “hang in there” and make a speedy recovery.
UK politicians also voiced their support. Keir Starmer, opposition Labour Party leader, said he was “wishing the Prime Minister well” and Ed Davey, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, said he is “wishing Boris Johnson the best for getting through this, and a full, fast recovery.”
In total, the UK has recorded over 50,000 cases and more than 5,000 deaths due to the virus. To combat the threat, the UK is following similar prevention methods as other countries, including the use of social distancing, urging people to stay at home and practice good hygiene.
After initially suggesting that the virus could be mitigated in the country by utilizing ‘herd immunity’ – which would have allowed a sufficient percentage of the population to become exposed to the virus in the hopes of building up a long-term, society-wide resistance – the UK decided to strengthen its precautions to minimize transfer in recent weeks.
According to the UK government, “the number of cases in hospitals is not as bad as it would have been if we had not made these efforts.” A government spokesperson went on to say that only after they are confident the country has seen the worst of the health crisis can they “have a serious discussion” about the next steps in managing the situation.