This story has been updated.
On April 5, the Russian state-owned media outlet Sputnik News reported that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, had been admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. Sputnik said that Johnson would “undergo artificial lung ventilation,” citing an unnamed source “close to the U.K. healthcare authorities.”
That is false.
On Monday, April 6, the U.K. government denied the story and labeled it “disinformation.”
Johnson’s spokesperson also denied the use of ventilation and said that the prime minister was “comfortable.” On Monday morning, Johnson said on Twitter that he was still in the hospital under observation, but was in “good spirits.”
Update, 3:35 pm EST: Later on Monday, UK officials said Johnson's condition worsened and he was moved into intensive care.
Sputnik also ran another story on Monday citing the spokesperson’s statement that Johnson had not required a ventilator. Still, the article with the original claim remained up on the internet, as well as the tweets linking to it from Sputnik’s official Twitter account.
On March 27, Johnson announced he was self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. He is not the only world leader to be affected by the virus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent two weeks in self-quarantine after learning that a doctor who had administered a vaccine to her had tested positive for COVID-19. She returned to work on April 3. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also underwent isolation after his wife Sophie tested positive.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is also reportedly self-isolating after shaking hands with a doctor who later tested positive for the coronavirus.