British Prime Minister Boris Johnson no longer needs to be treated in intensive care because of his Covid-19 disease
The UK is breathing a sigh of relief: After days of anxiety, British Prime Minister Johnson actually seems better. He’s in “extremely good spirits”, according to the Downing Street office.
London (dpa) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson no longer needs to be treated in intensive care because of his Covid-19 disease. He has been transferred to a normal ward, a government spokeswoman said at the request of the German Press Agency.
Johnson was in “extremely good spirits”, a statement said. He is now in the early stages of his recovery and will continue to be closely monitored.
The 55-year-old Prime Minister was taken to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday after the symptoms of his Covid-19 disease had not subsided after one and a half weeks. On Monday his condition deteriorated to such an extent that he had to be transferred to intensive care.
When Johnson will be able to take over the government business again was not clear at first. The British media reckoned that it could take weeks. Johnson will be replaced by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
US President Donald Trump, who had expressed concern about Johnson’s condition on several occasions in recent days, immediately spread the news on Twitter. “Great news”, he wrote on Twitter and added: “Get well soon Boris!!”
Experts believe the coronavirus pandemic has not yet peaked in the UK. By Wednesday evening, the government reported 881 new deaths. This brings the total number of deaths to just under 8000, not counting those in nursing homes. The number of people in Great Britain who tested positive rose to 65,077.
Hopes for an early easing of exit restrictions in the country were rejected by Raab on Thursday. “We are not at the end of our rope – we must persevere,” said the Conservative politician. Among other things, Johnson had closed all shops that do not serve the basic supply on March 23.
Sports activities are now only allowed once a day and only alone or together with members of the same household. Actually the measures should have been reviewed on Easter Monday. However, Raab said that this was now to be expected at the end of next week at the earliest.
It is feared that many Britons will violate the restrictions over the Easter holidays when the weather is fine. Among other things, there was always trouble in the London parks because people did not keep enough distance from each other.
In the Greater Manchester area alone, the police registered more than 1000 violations of the exit restrictions within only four days until Tuesday. Among them were 494 parties in apartments and houses and 166 street parties, according to the Greater Manchester Police on Thursday.
Update 12.04.2020 – Boris Johnson released from hospital
The British Prime Minister is no longer in hospital. Boris Johnson is recovering in the London area. But it may be weeks before he can resume his duties.
London (dpa) – The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been released from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. “I left the hospital today after one week,” he reported in a video message distributed via Twitter.
The National Health Service (NHS) saved his life. From among the hospital staff, he praised in particular Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal. “They stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have turned out differently.”
The 55-year-old Johnson will not immediately resume his work on the advice of his doctors, a spokesman for Downing Street said. The head of government will be recovering at the Prime Minister’s official country residence, Chequers, near London. Already on Saturday evening, Johnson had told the staff at the clinic near Parliament: “I owe them my life.”
More than 10,600 people have died so far in Great Britain from their infection with Sars-CoV-2, according to the Ministry of Health on Sunday. However, experts expect a high number of unreported cases; especially numerous victims in old people’s homes have not yet been recorded. Most deaths were registered in England – especially in the British capital. Health Minister Matt Hancock spoke of a “gloomy day” in view of the fact that the 10,000 mark had been passed.
According to the British news agency PA, citing government sources, Johnson received letters and baby ultrasound pictures of his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds and thousands of cards with wishes for recovery at the hospital. In addition he had passed the time with movies among other things.
The politician had been taken to the hospital for examinations last Sunday. His condition worsened to such an extent, however, that he had to be taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit on Monday. On Thursday he was returned to the normal ward.
Johnson is currently being represented by Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. However, Raab does not have the authority of the prime minister. Great Britain’s unwritten constitution does not provide for a clear regulation in case the head of government drops out. It is expected that Johnson could be absent for several more weeks.
According to the Wellcome Foundation’s assessment, Great Britain could become the country within Europe worst affected by the Corona pandemic. In the UK, the death rate will possibly be the highest, the foundation’s director Jeremy Farrar told the BBC on Sunday. There is no doubt that lessons must be learned from the current situation. Mass testing could still help to gain time to upgrade the health system.
After the current outbreak, the expert, who also advises the British government, expects a second and third wave. He hopes for a vaccine by the autumn, when production must be ramped up to vaccinate many millions of people. “I would hope that we can do that in 12 months, but that in itself is an unprecedented ambition,” Farrar continued.
The British Queen Elizabeth II had addressed the public on Saturday with an Easter message: “We know that the corona virus will not defeat us. As grim as death can be – especially for mourners – light and life are greater,” the monarch said in an audio message posted on the royal family’s Twitter account. It was the second time the Queen had addressed the public with a message in a short time. Already on Palm Sunday she had encouraged her fellow countrymen in a speech on television.