Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus.
As recently as Friday, the UK prime minister said he was “feeling better”, but that he would remain in self-isolation until his temperature dropped.
However, on Sunday evening Downing Street revealed he had been taken to hospital for precautionary tests.
It is not believed to be an emergency admission though the PM is expected to stay in overnight, having thought to have been admitted in the early evening.
“On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” a spokeswoman said. “This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
“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.”
Johnson has been continuing to the lead the Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis from inside Downing Street, chairing Cabinet meetings via video link.
He is understood to be in an NHS hospital in London, where he will stay for “as long as needed”.
A Number 10 spokesman insisted on Sunday he remained “in charge of the Government” and has not handed responsibilities to his de facto deputy Dominic Raab.
However, Mr Raab is likely to chair the daily COVID-19 meeting on Monday morning for ministers and officials instead of the PM.
Johnson has shared several video updates from his Number 11 flat since his diagnosis, and joined the nationwide clap for NHS staff on Thursday evening.
He has not been seen publicly since, although he spoke to new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on Saturday afternoon.
In his social media post on Friday, Johnson looked and sounded tired as he said: “Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature.
“So, in accordance with government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes.”
Johnson has repeatedly urged people not to break social distancing rules as the weather warms up, even if they were going “a bit stir crazy”.
His pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, has also been suffering from coronavirus symptoms. On Saturday, she said she was “on the mend” after spending all week in bed.
‘Thoughts with the PM’
Johnson received messages of support from across the political spectrum.
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wished the PM a “speedy recovery” after the announcement.