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British PM still in charge despite hospital stay

Police officers patrolled outside a hospital where it is believed that Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is undergoing tests after suffering from coronavirus symptoms.
Police officers patrolled outside a hospital where it is believed that Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is undergoing tests after suffering from coronavirus symptoms.Frank Augstein/Associated Press

LONDON — Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in charge of the government despite being hospitalized in what his office described as a “precautionary step,” after contracting the new coronavirus.

Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told BBC that Johnson is awaiting the results of tests after spending the night in an undisclosed hospital.

Jenrick says that he’s “sure this is very frustrating for him,’’ but that “nonetheless he’s still very much in charge.’’ Jenrick did not rule out a more prolonged stay.

The 55-year-old leader had been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 — the first known head of government to fall ill with the virus.

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He has continued to preside at daily meetings on the outbreak and has released several video messages during his 10 days in isolation.