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The US and Britain are bracing for one of their bleakest weeks in living memory yesterday as the social and financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic deepened.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured), who was infected last month, was hospitalised overnight in what his office described as a "precautionary step" after persistent symptoms. The 55-year-old Conservative leader, who had a fever for days, is the first known head of government to fall ill with the disease.

He remained at the helm of the government and was awaiting test results yesterday.

SEE ALSO: Sierra Leone doctors' strike leaves COVID-19 patients stranded

"(I'm) sure this is very frustrating for him ... (but) nonetheless he's still very much in charge," Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC. Still, Mr Jenrick did not rule out a longer hospitalisation.

Stark warning

In Washington, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams offered a stark warning about the surge of coronavirus deaths the nation is facing.

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbour moment, our 9/11 moment," he told "Fox News Sunday."

More than 9,600 people have died of the virus in the US, and it leads the world in confirmed infections at more than 337,000. In New York City, daily confirmed deaths dropped slightly.

SEE ALSO: Pandemic costs Africa travel, tourism almost Sh5.5 trillion

coronavirus pandemic British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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