U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is suffering from COVID-19, was moved to an intensive-care unit as his condition worsened Monday, according to a statement from his office.
Johnson late last month was first diagnosed as coronavirus positive. He was taken to the hospital over the weekend.
Johnson, who is 55, asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputize for him where necessary, according to the statement.
The coronavirus has infected more than 1.3 million people worldwide, forcing the wholesale shutdown of much of the global economy.
In the U.K., more than 50,000 people have been infected, with more than 1,500 in serious or critical condition according to data compiled by Worldometer.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Britain doesn’t have the equivalent of a vice president who automatically takes over if the prime minister dies.
If the prime minister dies or falls gravely ill, the members of the U.K. cabinet decide among themselves who should lead the country.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has killed 10,000 people in the U.S. More than 50,000 more are projected to die in April alone, according to projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, at the University of Washington.
U.S. stocks rose Monday on signs the rate of additional cases and deaths in the U.S. is slowing, thanks to social-distancing efforts imposed by state governors in most of the country.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1,627 points, or 7.73%, to 22,679, the S&P 500 jumped 7.03% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 7.3%.