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UK’s Johnson ‘in good spirits’ in hospital, stays in charge

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is in good spirits after spending the night in a London hospital, in what his office described as a “precautionary step” after he contracted the new coronavirus

LONDON —
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was in good spirits Monday after spending the night in a London hospital after being admitted with the new coronavirus.

Johnson’s spokesman said Johnson had spent a comfortable night and remained in charge of government despite being admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital after COVID-19 symptoms of a cough and fever persisted, 10 days after he was diagnosed.

Johnson sent out a tweet thanking the National Health Service for taking care of him and others in this difficult time.

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

Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, refused to say what kind of tests Johnson was undergoing.

“The PM remains in charge of the government,” Slack said. “He is receiving updates in hospital and is continuing to receive a (ministerial red) box” of files and briefing papers.

The 55-year-old leader had been quarantined in his Downing Street residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 — the first known head of government to fall ill with the virus.

He continued to preside at daily meetings on the outbreak until Sunday and has released several video messages during his 10 days in isolation. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab chaired the meeting Monday.

Britain has no official post of deputy prime minister, but Raab has been designated to take over should Johnson become incapacitated.

Johnson was admitted to the hospital as a message to the nation from Queen Elizabeth II was being broadcast Sunday evening. The 93-year-old monarch urged the public to show resolve and follow advice to stay inside.

Concerns had been growing about Johnson’s welfare ever since he posted a message Friday saying that he was feeling better, though was still feverish.

The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most people, but for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and lead to death.


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