Nicola Sturgeon has admitted she was “really shaken” by the news Boris Johnson had been taken into intensive care as she told the prime minister the people of Scotland are “all willing you on”.
The first minister used her daily briefing to send “every good wish” to Mr Johnson and his family after he was admitted to hospital on Monday with worsening symptoms.
A No 10 spokesman confirmed on Tuesday the prime minister had been in a stable condition overnight and had received oxygen treatment but was otherwise breathing without assistance.
Ms Sturgeon said: “At times like this, the things that divide us in normal times just seem so much less important, and we’re very much reminded of that again today.
“Right now all of us are just human beings united in a fight against this virus.
“As we know, the prime minister – as well as leading the UK’s response – is currently in hospital fighting his own personal battle against coronavirus.
“I chaired the meeting of the Scottish Government’s Cabinet this morning and we recorded our very best wishes to him.
“Now – and I’m sure I do this on behalf of all of Scotland – I want to send every good wish to him, his fiancee and to his whole family.
“We are all willing you on, Boris. Get well soon.”
The first minister said she understands how difficult the situation is for people and the anxieties they are feeling.
“I know that many people of all political persuasions and none, and I include myself in this, would have felt really shaken at the news of the prime minister,” she said.
“This is a really tough time and because it’s unprecedented, none of us have experienced it before by definition.
“As first minister, I’ve not gone through a situation like this.”
Ms Sturgeon also confirmed deputy first minister John Swinney would take charge of the Scottish Government if she was to become incapacitated for any reason.
The first minister declined to go into specifics around contingency planning but said mechanisms are in place if she needs to step away.
Ms Sturgeon said she would carrying on working “for as long as was medically appropriate” and that she was “taking as many precautions as I reasonably can given at what I have to do for work related purposes”.
“Clearly everybody has to make judgements about their own capacity to work,” she said.
“I want to lead in this operation as effectively, and as much on an ongoing basis as possible, but I would make judgements… about when it’s appropriate in the interests of the response to the coronavirus for me to hand that to somebody else for a period time.”