London , 7 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received oxygen while under intensive care at a London hospital but has not needed a ventilator, a senior minister said on Tuesday.
“He is not on a ventilator. The prime minister has received some oxygen support,” cabinet minister Michael Gove, Johnson‘s long-term friend, told London radio station LBC.
“He is kept, of course, under close supervision. By being in intensive care, if there is further support he needs it is there at hand,” Gove said.
He said he was “not aware” of whether Johnson could have contracted pneumonia.
Johnson was moved to intensive care late Monday, following his admission to hospital on Sunday for tests after he experienced “persistent symptoms” of the novel coronavirus.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will “deputize where necessary” while Johnson remains in intensive care, Downing Street said.
Get-well messages poured in from international leaders and from Johnson‘s British political allies and opponents following news that he was in intensive care.
US President Donald Trump said he had offered assistance to Johnson‘s health team and that unspecified medical companies working on therapeutics to treat Covid-19 had “arrived in London” and were “ready to go.”
French President Emmanuel Macron wished Johnson a quick recovery on Twitter.
Britain had reported 5,373 deaths linked to Covid-19 by Monday, making it one of the worst-affected countries.
Government experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of people are infected.
Many health experts have criticized the government’s slow response to the crisis, and its low level of testing for the virus.