Boris Johnson
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to the hospital for coronavirus tests on Sunday.
  • Johnson announced on March 27 that he had contracted the Covid-19 virus and planned to self-isolate.
  • "This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus," a Downing Street spokesperson said.
  • As of Sunday, the UK has confirmed 48 407 coronavirus cases and 4,943 deaths.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Ten days after testing positive for the coronavirus, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to the hospital for tests, a Downing Street spokesperson said on Sunday.

"This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus," including a high fever, the spokesperson said. This is not an emergency admission, but based on Johnson's doctor's advice due to his lingering symptoms.

Johnson, who announced on March 27 that he had contracted the virus and would self isolate for seven days, remains at the helm of the United Kingdom's government. The spokesperson said that the prime minister is in touch with fellow officials and colleagues. "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," the spokesperson continued.

As of Sunday, the UK has confirmed 48 407 cases and 4 943 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, more than 1.26 million people have tested positive for the virus and more than 68 400 have died.

Johnson first experienced "mild symptoms" of the coronavirus, namely a cough and elevated temperature, on March 26, but didn't let that stop him from supporting NHS workers by way of national applause that same evening. He was tested for Covid-19 by midnight, according to a spokesperson for the government.

"Number 10 is considered a workplace," the spokesman said, so Johnson planned to stay behind closed doors at his 11 Downing Street residence.

Johnson, who previously declined testing despite coming in contact with a member of parliament who picked up the infection, tapped Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as his "designated survivor" if he falls seriously ill.

Johnson is not the only senior member of the UK government to test positive for the coronavirus. Health Minister Nadine Dorries and Health Secretary Matt Hancock also fell sick, but are now out of isolation.

Queen Elizabeth II delivered a rare address to the UK that was broadcast on Sunday evening. The Queen is self-isolating with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, after her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Expressing gratitude to healthcare workers and other essential employees who "selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home" to provide for others, the Queen also thanked citizens who are following social distancing rules and "helping to protect the vulnerable."

"While we have faced challenges before, this one is different," the Queen said. "This time, we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive passion to heal. We will succeed, and that success will belong to every one of us."

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