Boris Johnson ‘given oxygen to help his breathing’ after arriving in hospital for coronavirus tests


BORIS Johnson was reported to have been given oxygen last night after arriving in hospital for "routine" coronavirus tests.

The PM, 55, was admitted to a London hospital last night – 10 days after testing positive for the virus – and stayed the night there.

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The Times said today he was given oxygen treatment after arriving there by car.

No10 stressed it was not an emergency trip and was a planned visit on advice from his doctor.

The admission was a “precautionary step” as he continued to have “persistent symptoms”, thought to be a high temperature.

The move comes after aides became increasingly worried about his health as Mr Johnson continued to show symptoms more than a week after he tested positive.

Government aides said Boris had been “coughing and spluttering” on video conference calls over the past few days.

Most people manage to shake off their symptoms after a week, with doctors saying patients are at risk of developing pneumonia if a temperature persists.

Last night a Downing Street spokesman 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 ten 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.”

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, will chair this morning's Covid-19 conference call in the PM's absence, but Boris is still in charge of the Government.

If he becomes more unwell the PM has the power to delegate responsibility to any minister. It is understood Chancellor Rishi Sunak and then Michael Gove are next in the chain of command.

Dr Rupert Beale, from the Francis Crick Institute, said Mr Johnson is likely to be monitored for signs such as oxygen saturation.

He said: “They will also check blood tests to see what the immune response to the virus looks like, and to assess liver and kidney function.

“They will perform an electrocardiogram to check the heart.

“More sophisticated tests may include a CT scan of the chest to get an accurate picture of the lungs.

“They will consider the best way to deliver oxygen and will also consider other treatments depending on test results."

GP Dr Ellie Cannon said the most common reason coronavirus patients are admitted to hospital was for "signs of breathlessness".

She added that having the virus beyond ten days is a "red flag" and some patients who failed to get rid of the symptoms had developed a bacterial infection on top of the virus.

Dr Cannon told Sky News: "The breathlessness is a worrying sign of severe illness and can happen at any point of the illness, it can happen on Day seven or Day ten."


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Michael Gove's wife Sarah Vine tweeted last night that he was working flat out despite being ill.

She said: "Boris has worked non-stop throughout his illness – and now we see the result."

And a Cabinet minister told the Financial Times: "This may be the jolt, the wake-up call that he realises he has to rest to recover.

"He will have been very reluctant to go to hospital."

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said this morning he has heard the PM is "doing well".

He told Radio 4: "He has worked phenomenally hard.

"I know for him personally it must have been very frustrating for him to go into hospital for these tests when he wants to be leading from the front.

"He will updated regularly while he in hospital as he has done when he is self isolating."

Aides said he would stay in for as long as he needs to.

Last night US President Donald Trump said the whole of America was praying for a speedy recovery for Mr Johnson.

He said at a press conference in the White House: "I want to express our nation's well wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he wages his own personal fight with the virus.

"All Americans are praying for him, he's a friend of mine, he's a great gentleman and a great leader.

"He was brought to the hospital today but I'm hopeful and sure he will be fine. He's a strong man, strong person."

New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt were among many British politicians who wished him well.


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The PM's last on-camera engagement with the public was on Friday, when he recorded a Twitter video telling viewers he still had symptoms so was following Public Health England guidance to stay in self-isolation.

His voice sounded croaky and he appeared exhausted.

It emerged on Saturday that Mr Johnson’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds, 32, also suffered from coronavirus symptoms..

But she said she was “on the mend” after spending a week in bed.

She tweeted on Saturday night: “I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend. Being pregnant with ­Covid-19 is obviously worrying.”

 

 

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