UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson released from hospital

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on March 25, 2020.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on March 25, 2020. (Image credit: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Updated April 13 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged Sunday (April 12) from St. Thomas' Hospital and will continue to recover from COVID-19 at his country residence, Chequers.

He had been moved into "standard care" on Thursday (April 9), after spending three nights in the intensive care unit. 

Doctors had moved him into the ICU on Monday (April 6) as a precaution in case he ended up needing a ventilator to breathe, The Washington Post reported. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said at the time that Johnson was receiving oxygen, but that he was not on a ventilator, The New York Times reported.

Gove said he didn't know whether the prime minister had developed pneumonia, which is common in more severe cases of COVID-19, the Times reported.

Johnson, 55, had been admitted to St. Thomas', a National Health Service hospital as a precautionary step, because he still had coronavirus symptoms even though 10 days had passed since he was first diagnosed, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said during a press briefing Monday (April 6). 

A statement from the British government indicated that Johnson had asked Raab "to deputize for him where necessary," the Post reported. Raab will continue to running the government, possibly for as long as a month, BBC News reported.

"On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas' for the brilliant care he has received," Downing Street said in a press statement, BBC News reported.

Though doctors and scientists still have a lot to learn about this virus and its progression, one study of 138 COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began, suggests that the median time from onset of symptoms to being admitted to the ICU was 10 days, the researchers wrote Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 

As of April 13, more than 85,000 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the U.K., with at least 10,600 related deaths. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Originally published on Live Science.

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.