Premier Boris Johnson is in “stable” condition and has received oxygen assistance on his first night in the Intensive Care Unit of St. Thomas hospital, where he was admitted on Sunday with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.

“The Prime Minister has not needed to be put on a respirator,” Cabinet Minister Michael Gove told the BBC’s Today radio programme, however. “In any case, one of the reasons he is in the ICU is so that doctors can make the necessary decisions.

Gove remarked that Johnson has not contracted pneumonia and said that Downing Street would keep the country informed of how his condition was progressing. In a brief statement, a government spokesman said the prime minister is “aware” and that his condition has not changed over the second night in the hospital.

The British media have questioned the government’s secrecy about the seriousness of the medical situation of the “premier”, who was admitted on Sunday with a high fever, a persistent cough and breathing problems.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has meanwhile temporarily taken over the helm of the government. “There is a great team spirit around the prime minister and we will focus on executing his plans,” said Raab, who on Monday already chaired the first Cobra emergency cabinet devoted to the coronavirus.

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