U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Is Stable in Hospital With Coronavirus and Not on a Ventilator, Says Downing Street

A day after being admitted into intensive care for persistent coronavirus symptoms, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in a stable condition and has not needed any mechanical help to breathe, a spokesperson said.

Johnson, 55, was taken to St Thomas' Hospital in Central London on Sunday night, and on Monday was transferred to intensive care after his condition deteriorated.

On Tuesday afternoon, a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement that Johnson "remains in good spirits" and confirmed that he is not suffering from pneumonia.

"He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance.

"He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support," the statement added. When a disease causes the lungs to fail, a ventilator is required to help the body breathe.

British PM Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on March 25, 2020 in London, England. He was taken to intensive care due to the coronavirus but is said to be stable in hospital. Peter Summers/Getty Images

Downing Street denied that it had not been transparent about the prime minister's health, with the spokesperson saying: "We have been fully frank with you throughout."

Meanwhile, Downing Street played down the offer by President Donald Trump to ask U.S. pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 drugs to help Johnson's medical team.

"We'll see if we can be of help. We've contacted all of Boris' doctors, and we'll see what is going to take place, but they are ready to go," Trump said on Monday.

But the Downing Street spokesperson said, according to The Guardian: "We are confident that the prime minister is receiving the best possible care from the health service. Any treatment he receives is a matter for his doctors."

The U.S. president had also expressed his "best wishes to a very good friend of mine, and a friend to our nation," and added that "Americans are all praying for his recovery."

As first secretary of state, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has temporarily taken over Johnson's duties and chaired the government's daily coronavirus meeting on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the Queen will be kept updated on the prime minister's condition and their weekly audiences will be suspended.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove became the latest government member to self-isolate, following the same moves by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. Gove's move came after one of his family members displayed symptoms.

The number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the U.K. reached 5,373 on Tuesday, up by 439 from the previous day, with the U.K's Department of Health and Social Care saying there were now 51,608 confirmed cases.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face