British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in intensive care Tuesday fighting the coronavirus, while authorities in New York and elsewhere in Europe hoped that an apparent plateau of deaths and new hospitalizations signaled that key epicenters in the global pandemic had turned a corner.
The 55-year-old Johnson, the world’s first known head of government to fall ill with the virus, was conscious in a London hospital and needed oxygen overnight but was not on a ventilator, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said Tuesday. Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has been designated to take over with Johnson sidelined by an illness that can be debilitating even for those with access to the world’s best medical care.
“We’re desperately hoping that Boris can make the speediest possible recovery,” Gove said.
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Japan’s prime minister on Tuesday declared a monthlong state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures after a spike in infections there but it came in the form of a stay-at-home request — not an order — and violators will not be penalized. Japan has the world’s oldest population, a worrying target for a virus that has been killing the elderly at much higher rates than other age groups.