Dominic Raab Takes Charge of U.K. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson Remains in Intensive Care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's condition has worsened after contracting coronavirus as First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab takes temporary charge of government.

Johnson was admitted to intensive care at around 7 p.m. BST on Monday. Raab, the government minister designated to deputize for the prime minister when he is unable to fulfill duties, is said to be the "first among equals" in the cabinet.

This means the business of government can continue as usual, he can chair meetings and lead the response to COVID-19. Precise details of the prime minister's condition are not yet known.

"The prime minister's not on a ventilator," government minister Michael Gove told the BBC. "He has received oxygen support."

In general, those receiving oxygen support can remain conscious while most patients are unconscious when receiving treatment through a ventilator.

Gove promised that updates would be provided when there were any developments.

Dominic Raab
U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on January 6, 2020 in London, England. Raab has taken charge of the British government while the prime minister receives intensive care treatment for COVID-19. Peter Summers/Getty Images

Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 6, 2020

Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas' Hospital in London on Sunday afternoon, which was then said to be a "precautionary measure." He first revealed he had coronavirus symptoms on March 27.

Johnson's condition worsened on Monday afternoon, a spokesman for 10 Downing Street told Newsweek.

"The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication," the spokesman said.

On Monday, Raab said during a press conference that Johnson had a "comfortable" night in the hospital and was in "good spirits," despite not having spoken to him personally since the Saturday before.

Arriving at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday morning, Raab said the PM was "in very good hands."

Buckingham Palace has said that Queen Elizabeth II is being kept informed about the prime minister's health.

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. (
  • 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.

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