British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Monday taken to the intensive care unit of the hospital he was admitted to in order to treat his coronavirus infection, BBC reported. Johnson was taken into intensive care around 7 pm GMT (12.30 am Indian Standard Time on Tuesday) and is conscious, the news network said.

A spokesperson for Johnson said he was moved to the ICU on the advice of his medical team and is in “excellent health”. Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise “where necessary”, the spokesperson said.

A statement by 10 Downing Street, the British prime minister’s official residence, read: “The prime minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus. Over the course of [Monday] 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 was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening with “persistent symptoms”. He was given oxygen on Monday, but was not put on a ventilator, BBC reported.

Raab will on Tuesday chair the government’s daily coronavirus meeting. He told reporters that he and his colleagues were making sure they implemented plans Johnson had asked them to deliver “as soon as possible”. “That’s the way we’ll bring the whole country through the coronavirus challenge,” he said.

Johnson had last week quarantined himself at his official residence, and said that his infection was “mild”. However, he did not come out of quarantine on April 3, as originally planned.

World leaders send best wishes

United States President Donald Trump wished Johnson a quick recovery. “I also want to send best wishes to a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” Trump said at a press conference, according to AFP. “We’re very saddened to hear he was taken into intensive care this afternoon, a little while ago. Americans are all praying for his recovery.” Trump added that Washington has offered to provide Johnson medical assistance if necessary.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen wished Johnson “a speedy and full recovery”. “My thoughts are with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his family this evening,” she tweeted.

The European Union’s Brexit negotiator, Michael Barnier, who is recovering after also having tested positive, said: “Wishing Boris Johnson all the best and a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you and your family.”

French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, in a tweet, gave his “full support to Boris Johnson, his family and the British people at this difficult time”. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose country has been badly affected by Covid-19 but is now showing a decline in new cases, tweeted in English that “the Italian people is with the UK in these difficult times. We are one for each other. Get well soon Boris Johnson!”