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  • The British premier tested positive on March 27 becoming the first leader of a major power to announce that he contracted the novel coronavirus.

    The British premier tested positive on March 27 becoming the first leader of a major power to announce that he contracted the novel coronavirus. | Photo: EFE

Published 6 April 2020

Britain has no formal succession plan should the prime minister become incapacitated, but Johnson asked First Secretary of State Dominic Raab to deputize for him.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit Monday after his COVID-19 symptoms worsened.

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“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,” a Downing Street spokesman said, adding Johnson had received oxygen.

The British premier tested positive on March 27 becoming the first leader of a major power to announce that he contracted the novel coronavirus. Following guidelines, Johson stayed home and went into self-isolation but on Sunday he was admitted to the hospital as his condition worsened.

Britain has no formal succession plan should the prime minister become incapacitated, but Johnson asked First Secretary of State Dominic Raab to deputize for him.

“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputize for him where necessary,” Downing Street said. “The PM remains conscious at this time.”

Johnson has faced criticism for initially approving a much more modest response to the new coronavirus outbreak than other European leaders, saying on March 3 that he had been shaking hands with coronavirus patients.

He changed his approach when scientific projections showed a quarter of a million people could die in the United Kingdom. On Monday, health officials said Britain’s death toll stood at 5,373 with over 51,000 cases.

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