Moon wishes for British prime minister's recovery

Brenda Watkins
April 7, 2020

Experts said it was not uncommon for coronavirus patients to move to intensive care, but said it showed Mr Johnson's condition was serious.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care at St. Thomas' Hospital in central London, April 7, 2020.

His spokesman said the move was a "precautionary step" in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.

Just hours earlier, Johnson had said that he was in good spirits and Raab had told a news conference that the prime minister was still running the government, although Raab also said he hadn't spoken to the prime minister directly since Saturday.

"He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance. He has not required mechanical ventilation, or non-invasive respiratory support", his spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying. Mr Johnson was first admitted to hospital on Sunday.

"The focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the prime minister's direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward", said Raab.

His spokesman, however, rejected claims that No 10 had sought to hide the seriousness of his condition.

This is what normally happens when a prime minister resigns.

Johnson's move to intensive care added to the sense of upheaval that the coronavirus has wrought after its spread caused global panic, sowed chaos through financial markets and prompted the virtual shutdown of the world economy. In her message, the Queen said: "On the occasion of World Health Day, I want to thank all those working in the healthcare profession for your selfless commitment and diligence as you undertake vitally important roles to protect and improve the health and well-being of people across the Commonwealth, and around the world".

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Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said officers had visited Dr Calderwood and issued a warning about her conduct. The First Minister paid tribute to Dr Calderwood, saying she was a "transformational" chief medical officer (CMO).

The spokesman said that the Queen would continue to be kept regularly updated about his condition.

As first secretary of state, Mr Raab is the minister designated to stand in for Mr Johnson if he is unwell and unable to work. "We are confident that the Prime Minister is receiving the best possible care from the health service".

If Mr Raab were to fall ill, under the established Cabinet order of precedence he would be replaced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Ministers insisted that despite Mr Johnson's absence, along with other key No 10 figures, the business of government was continuing as normal. But Gove said the virus "has a malevolence that is truly frightening". We will support the Prime Minister at every turn, implementing the plan that he set out.

However the toll it was taking on Whitehall was underlined when it emerged that Mr Gove himself had been forced to self-isolate, because a member of his family was showing symptoms.

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"I was in touch with the Foreign Secretary last night and I want to say that the Labour Party will act in the national interest", he said.

"It was just so shocking to see that because you know what that means - intensive care is a big deal with regard to what we're talking about". He's a robust character, he has a great work ethic, he works really, really hard and I think he will have been frustrated by having to make the decision with his doctors to go to hospital.

Raab was due to chair the daily coronavirus meeting in the prime minister's place on Tuesday.

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