U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Hospitalized After Testing Positive for Coronavirus

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized 10 days after testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

A spokesperson for Johnson, 55, told BBC News that he “continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus.” The spokesperson also described Johnson’s hospitalization as a “precautionary step” taken on the advice of his doctor.

“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 said, according to BBC News.

Johnson announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, writing on Twitter that he noticed symptoms in the past day.

“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” Johnson tweeted. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus. Together we will beat this. #StayHomeSaveLives”

Along with the message, Johnson also posted a video address to his followers, describing his symptoms of a fever and “persistent cough.” He also continued to thank first responders and citizens for working together during the pandemic.

Two days prior to his announcement, Johnson had his weekly meeting with Queen Elizabeth. The 93-year-old monarch’s meeting with the PM took place via telephone in order to practice social distancing.

In March, Johnson announced that he is engaged and expecting a child. A spokesperson for Johnson confirmed his upcoming wedding to Carrie Symonds, 31, telling The Telegraph: “The Prime Minister and Ms. Symonds are very pleased to announce their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer.”

Symonds is a former communications director with the U.K.’s Conservative Party, which Johnson has been the leader of since mid-2019 when he took over as Britain’s prime minister and helped push the country toward “Brexit.”

Johnson finalized his divorce from Marina Wheeler, 55, in February. The couple was married for 25 years before they announced their separation in September 2018, according to the BBC.

According to the New York Times, the U.K. has 47,806 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,934 deaths as of April 5.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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