U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Hospitalized Over 'Persistent' Coronavirus Symptoms 'on Advice of His Doctor'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus ten days ago.

In a statement on Sunday, a Downing Street spokesperson said that "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 spokesperson added. "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."

Johnson's hospitalization was not an emergency admission. His doctors considered it sensible for the prime minister to undergo tests and an in-person check up, given that his symptoms have been ongoing for more than 10 days.

Downing Street declined Newsweek's request for additional information.

Johnson, 55, who announced he had tested positive on March 27, has been self-quarantining at his home, situated next door to 10 Downing Street. Although he still has a high temperature, his condition has reportedly improved in recent days.

Despite his illness, Johnson is still in charge of the British government, according to 10 Downing Street. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will take over the prime minister's duties if his condition gets worse.

Johnson shared a video to Twitter on Friday, during which he updated the country on his health. "Although I'm feeling better and I've done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms -- a minor symptom. I still have a temperature," he said. "And so in accordance with government advice, I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes."

Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare television address to the nation on Sunday, shortly before Johnson's hospitalization was announced. Speaking from the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, the 93-year-old monarch urged citizens to practice self-discipline amid the coronavirus pandemic and assured the public that "if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it."

The address was only the fifth national crisis speech she has made during her 68-year-long reign.

"I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time," she said. "A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all."

On Sunday evening, the U.K. had confirmed a total of more than 48,000 cases of COVID-19, with nearly 5,000 deaths, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQ's on March 25, 2020 in London, England. British parliament will be suspended tonight due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Peter Summers/Getty