Boris Johnson’s heavily pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds is barred from seeing the prime minister as he battles coronavirus in intensive care today.
Mr Johnson, 55, was rushed into ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London with breathing difficulties and his partner is not allowed to be by his side because of her pregnancy and a blanket ban on visitors.
The Prime Minister is said to be conscious but needing oxygen – and it is not known if they have been able to speak on the phone.
The couple have not seen each other for a fortnight after Mr Johnson, 55, first fell ill on March 27 and Ms Symonds, 32, and is understood to have come down with similar symptoms over the weekend.
On March 27 – the day Boris tested positive for coronavirus – Carrie shared a photograph of herself self-isolating with their dog Dilyn at the £1.3million Camberwell house she bought with Mr Johnson last year.
Last week she is understood to have moved to stay with her mother Josephine Mcaffee in East Sheen, south-west London, more than seven miles from her partner’s intensive care bed in St Thomas’ Hospital.
Carrie Symonds is self isolating with the couple’s rescue dog Dilyn (pictured together on March 27) and is understood to be with her mother at her home in East Sheen
Pregnant Carrie cannot see her fiance Boris, who is seriously ill with coronavirus (pictured together on March 9 at Westminster Abbey)
There is a heavy police presence at St Thomas’ Hospital on Wesrminster Bridge today where Mr Johnson remains in intensive care
Are pregnant women more vulnerable to coronavirus?
There is no evidence that pregnant women become more severely unwell if they develop coronavirus than the general population.
It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms because more severe symptoms such as pneumonia appear to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions.
There are no reported deaths of pregnant women from coronavirus at the moment.
If you are pregnant you are more vulnerable to getting infections than a woman who is not pregnant, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
If you have an underlying condition, such as asthma or diabetes, you may be more unwell if you have coronavirus because is poses a higher risk to those with underlying health conditions.
In terms of risk to the baby, there is no evidence right now to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage or transmission to the unborn baby via the womb or breast milk.
Some babies born to women with symptoms of coronavirus in China have been born prematurely. It is unclear whether coronavirus caused this or the doctors made the decision for the baby to be born early because the woman was unwell.
Guidance updated on Thursday from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says viral infections can ‘occasionally be related to more severe symptoms and this will be the same for Covid-19’.
It says that, while the risks are small overall, health professionals should look out for more severe symptoms of Covid-19 in pregnant women who test positive, such as pneumonia and a lack of oxygen.
But the RCOG said the current expert opinion is that unborn babies are unlikely to be exposed to Covid-19 during pregnancy.
There is also no data at the moment suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage for pregnant women.
The RCOG reiterates Government advice that pregnant women ‘should pay particular attention to avoiding contact with people who are known to have Covid-19 or those who exhibit possible symptoms’.
It adds: ‘Women above 28 weeks’ gestation should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising contact with others.’
Carrie Symonds is just one of the millions of pregnant women who were told they were ‘at increased risk’ from Covid-19 – and ordered to follow ‘stringent’ social distancing, for 12 weeks.
She had also reportedly wanted a home birth but women all over the country are having these cancelled because of a lack of midwives and some hospitals are also banning birthing partners.
Miss Symonds is the first unmarried partner of a Prime Minister to live in Downing Street, where she is understood to have been considering having the baby.
But if the lockdown continues she may have to give birth in hospital, potentially without a birthing partner.
Boris Johnson is still battling coronavirus in intensive care today with ‘no change’ in his condition overnight – amid a wave of support from across the nation and an outp
Mr Johnson was moved to ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London and given oxygen after his health deteriorated sharply over just two hours, leaving doctors fearing he will need a ventilator.
The 55-year-old was transferred to intensive care at 7pm because of breathing difficulties – forcing him to ‘deputise’ Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to take the reins of government.
The Queen is being kept informed about Mr Johnson’s condition, while Mr Raab will chair a meeting of the government coronavirus task force this morning.
No10 has been urged to be more ‘transparent’ about the premier’s condition, amid claims a hospital bed was being prepared for him as early as last Thursday.
After suffering coronavirus-type symptoms herself, Carrie is likely to be in self-isolation with her mother Josephine, a media lawyer.
Carrie was brought up by her mother, who is now 71, in East Sheen, South-West London and attended the private £20,000-a-year Godolphin & Latymer School.
Her father Matthew, a founder of the Independent newspaper, lived in a large property not far away in Twickenham with his wife, Alison, with whom he has three children.
Matthew had an affair with Josephine, who was a lawyer on the paper— and Carrie is the product of that affair, born in 1988.
When Mr Johnson and former Tory Party head of press Miss Symonds fell in love, many were sceptical that it could last.
The cynics appeared to have been proved right when they were overheard having a spectacular domestic spat in their London house early in their relationship.
The couple, pictured on election night in December, have rarely seen each other through the crisis and haven’t been together for more than a fortnight
Trump rallies round virus-stricken Prime Minister – and offers to send drugs and doctors
Donald Trump joined world leaders throwing their support behind Boris Johnson as he wished him a speedy recovery
Donald Trump joined world leaders throwing their support behind Boris Johnson as he wished him a speedy recovery after he was moved in to intensive care battling coronavirus.
Hundreds of messages of support have been sent to Mr Johnson by Conservative colleagues, opposition MPs and world leaders.
The President, speaking at a White House press briefing, said: ‘I want to send best wishes to a great friend of mine, and a great friend of our nation, Boris Johnson.
‘We are very saddened to hear that he was taken into intensive car this afternoon, a little while ago. Americans are all praying for him. He’s been a really good friend.
‘He’s very strong, resolute. Doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up.’
But they have proved the doubters wrong. Despite not being married, they negotiated tricky moments like visiting the Queen at Balmoral as an unmarried couple, with great dignity.
Miss Symonds proved a great asset to Mr Johnson in the election campaign. She curbed her love of the limelight and made sure he was the centre of attention.
Within weeks of becoming Prime Minister she became pregnant. Mr Johnson was heavily criticised soon into his premiership when many parts of Britain were badly flooded and he failed to visit them.
At the time he was staying with Miss Symonds at the Foreign Secretary’s official residence, Chevening in Kent, while repairs were being carried out at Chequers. Mr Johnson fell in love with Chequers in his days as Foreign Secretary in Theresa May’s government.
He regularly went for swims in the Chevening lake, urging male guests to strip off and join him.
One MP who has known him since before he became an MP said: ‘He was excited at being able to be with Carrie at Chevening officially. It is no secret that they used to go there for trysts before they were officially an item.
‘They had a brief break in Mustique but it was at Chevening that they had the time and space to get to know each other better. Then Carrie got pregnant. It was wonderful.’
Little did they know that their lives were about to be thrown into such personal and political turmoil.