Health and Science

UK's Boris Johnson still in intensive care with coronavirus, but condition 'improving'

Key Points
  • Johnson is receiving "excellent care" at St Thomas' Hospital in London, U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said.
  • Sunak also unveiled a £750 million ($930 million) funding package for charities hit hard by the virus.
  • The U.K. reported its largest daily rise in deaths so far — 938 fatalities — raising the death toll to 7,097 people.
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UK's Boris Johnson 'responding to treatment' after a second night in intensive care with coronavirus

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care with coronavirus but his condition is now improving, the government said Wednesday.

Johnson is receiving "excellent care" at St Thomas' Hospital in London where he is being treated, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said at the government's daily press briefing.

"The latest from the hospital is that the prime minister remains in intensive care where his condition is improving," Sunak said.

"I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team."

A spokesman for Johnson had said earlier in the day that the prime minister was responding to treatment in the hospital. The spokesman said the U.K. leader is "not working" but has the ability to contact those he needs to reach.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, is currently deputizing for Johnson.

Johnson, 55, was moved to the intensive care unit at London's St. Thomas' Hospital on Monday evening after his coronavirus symptoms worsened.

He announced on March 27 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, but wasn't admitted to hospital until Sunday for "tests" due to persistent symptoms of the virus, including a cough and fever.

The Downing Street spokesman said Johnson is following the advice of doctors at all times and is receiving "standard oxygen treatment" and is breathing by himself.

Sunak said Wednesday that Johnson's infection showed COVID-19 was an "indiscriminate" disease that is impacting people across the U.K. He offered support for the prime minister, who he called his "friend," and said "my thoughts are with him and his family."

The finance minister also unveiled a £750 million ($930 million) funding package for charities hit hard by the virus, £370 million of which will support small, local charities working with vulnerable people. The other £360 million will be provided to charities providing essential services and supporting vulnerable people. 

The U.K. reported on Wednesday its largest daily rise in deaths so far — 938 fatalities — raising the overall death toll to 7,097 people.

Johnson was the first world leader to contract the coronavirus and his admission to intensive care has shocked many. On Tuesday, he was sent best wishes from leaders in Europe, and President Donald Trump, who called him a "very good friend."