Boris Johnson’s heavily pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds is barred from seeing both the Prime Minister and apparently her own mum, who is over 70 and vulnerable to the virus.
The 32-year-old former political adviser – who is expecting her first child with Mr Johnson in early summer – has been self-isolating at their south London home.
She tweeted over the weekend how she had been bedridden with coronavirus symptoms herself but was now on the mend.
A friend told the Daily Telegraph Ms Symonds was “distraught” and “in tears” when the PM was rushed to hospital on Sunday night.
She described how she was “deeply upset and concerned for his wellbeing”.
It was thought she is not even able to be with her mother, Josephine Mcaffee, at her home in Camberwell as she is in a vulnerable group due to her age.
However, there is suggestion Ms Symonds has been able to speak to her partner after No10 confirmed Mr Johnson is able to contact those he needs to.
It is also understood the Prime Minister has nominated Ms Symonds as his next of kin – meaning it will be her responsibility to make decisions on his behalf should he need ventilator treatment.
The couple have hardly seen each other for weeks, with Mr Johnson giving daily conferences and holding endless meetings to discuss the growing pandemic before testing positive.
Their hour a day meetings were cut to zero as he began self isolating in his flat above No11.
Ms Symonds, who previously served as head of communications for the Conservative Party headquarters, previously shared a photograph of herself self-isolating with dog Dilyn.
It was initially understood she had been staying with her mum in East Sheen, south west London.
But that no longer appears to be the case.
The PM’s condition was, however, “improving” yesterday, ministers said as he prepared for a fourth night in hospital – and his third in intensive care.
He was sitting up in bed talking to his doctors in a sign that he is beginning to recover from Covid-19.
However, he could still be off work for weeks after his brush with the killer bug that has already laid him low for nearly a fortnight.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said Mr Johnson was receiving “excellent care” from his team at St Thomas’ Hospital in South London as fears eased over the PM’s health.
Downing Street said he remained “clinically stable”, with reports that his “persistently” high temperature had started to fall.
Mr Johnson was being treated with oxygen and officials said he was in “good spirits” and responding to treatment.
But senior medics said his stint in hospital would deplete his strength as his body expends all its energy fighting the disease.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman confirmed the PM would follow doctors’ orders when it came to his recovery.
It is understood he ignored advice from his doctor prior to being hospitalised about getting regular rest – instead he continued working long hours and chairing meetings via video link.
At No10 yesterday a rainbow poster – adopted as a symbol of hope during the pandemic – was placed in the window, bearing the words: “We are in this together.”
At the daily press conference there yesterday, Mr Sunak said: “The latest from the hospital is that the Prime Minister remains in intensive care where his condition is improving. I can also tell you that he has been sitting up in bed and been engaging positively with the clinical team.”
Downing Street said last night: “The Prime Minister continues to make steady progress. He remains in intensive care.” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The PM is sitting up and his condition is improving. He will fight through.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – now deputising for Mr Johnson – will chair this morning’s daily meeting of the coronavirus “war cabinet” for the fourth day in a row.
But the potential length of Mr Johnson’s rehabilitation raises important questions for how the Government will face the coronavirus peak in his absence.
Mr Raab looked startled at his first public appearance at the helm earlier this week.
While he has the support of Cabinet colleagues for now, some do not see him as a natural leader.
No10 has confirmed the PM is not working while in hospital and that Mr Raab is fully in charge in his absence, with the support of the Cabinet.
Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “The PM is not working, he’s in intensive care. He has the ability to contact those he needs to. He’s following the advice of his doctors at all times.”
But his return to full-time work could take weeks, at which point health and science chiefs hope the worst of the crisis will be over.
Prof Paul Hunter, an expert in infectious diseases at the University of East Anglia, said: “I’d expect most people who were that ill to need at least a month, or possibly two, to be sufficiently back and to be able to function.”
Prof Mike Grocott, a consultant in critical care medicine at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “On average a person who spends a while in intensive care on oxygen therapy alone would have a decrease in physical function for a period… likely to extend into weeks.
“A period of inactivity will have an effect on physical function, typically characterised by a loss in muscle mass and strength.
“It depends on how bad the duration and magnitude of illness was and the quality and amount of time invested in rehabilitation.”
Senior Downing Street figures are working on the rule of thumb that the PM will require at least one week’s recovery for every day spent in intensive care.
Early evidence suggests Mr Johnson may have to stay in hospital for up to a month before he can even return to his Downing Street flat.
Medical experts say he could spend at least a week of that in intensive care. Prof Duncan Young, professor of intensive care medicine at Oxford University, said the most common duration in ICU for a coronavirus patient is four days, based on a study by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre.
But he added: “A quarter stay eight or more days.”