Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened, Downing Street has confirmed.
Mr Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in central London on Sunday after his coronavirus symptoms persisted for 10 days.
Having been in hospital for tests and observation, his doctors advised that he be admitted to intensive care on Monday evening.
Mr Johnson is understood to be conscious and was moved to intensive care at about 7pm as a precaution should he require ventilation to aid his recovery.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital.
“The prime minister has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The prime minister is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”
At a press conference less than two hours before the decision was made, Mr Raab told a press briefing that the PM remained in charge of the Government despite remaining under observation.
Mr Raab said he had last spoken to the PM on Saturday.
Earlier on Monday afternoon, Mr Johnson tweeted: “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.
“I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain.”
Two uniformed police officers were stationed at the entrance to St Thomas’ Hospital on Monday evening where Mr Johnson is being treated in intensive care.
Throughout the day officers and police vehicles could be seen entering and exiting the central London hospital.
Responding to the news, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: “My thoughts tonight are with @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds. I know he’ll be getting the best care possible and will come out of this even stronger.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “Terribly sad news. All the country’s thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time.”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “This is terrible news. I know the thoughts and prayers of everyone across the House are with the Prime Minister and his family right now.
“We all wish him a speedy recovery.”