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UK PM 'still in charge' while in hospital with coronavirus

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London (AFP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in hospital after being admitted for tests following 10 days of persistent symptoms of coronavirus, but the government insisted Monday he remained in charge.

The Conservative leader announced on March 27 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and has been self-isolating in his flat above Downing Street ever since.

On Sunday night, on the advice of his doctor, the 55-year-old was admitted to hospital for tests in what his office said was a "precautionary step".

The Times newspaper reported that he had been given oxygen treatment.

"He spent the night in hospital and of course we all wish him well," his cabinet colleague Robert Jenrick, the housing minister, told BBC television on Monday.

"We hope as a result of those tests he will be able to come back to Downing Street as soon as possible."

He said that despite being in self-isolation, the prime minister has "been working extremely hard" and he would stay in charge even from his hospital bed.

"Obviously today he's in hospital having the tests, but he will continue to be kept informed as to what's happening and to be in charge of the government."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been nominated to take over if Johnson is incapacitated, and he will chair the government's daily coronavirus meeting on Monday morning in the prime minister's place.

"I'm sure this is very frustrating for him, somebody like Boris who wants to be hands on running the government from the front," Jenrick said.

"But nonetheless he is still very much in charge of the government."

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