UK's Johnson making 'very good progress' in virus recovery

By: AFP      Published: 07:19 PM, 11 Apr, 2020
UK's Johnson making 'very good progress' in virus recovery

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday was making "very good progress" in his recovery in hospital from coronavirus, officials said, two days after leaving intensive care.

The 55-year-old leader was hospitalised on Sunday over concerns he still had a cough and high temperature after spending 10 days in self-isolation. A day later he was transferred to intensive care as his condition deteriorated.

He was taken out of the care unit and into a normal ward at London's St Thomas' Hospital on Thursday evening, waving at staff "in gratitude", his spokesman has said.

On Friday he was able to do short walks, between periods of rest, according to Downing Street, which said he was in "very good spirits". "The Prime Minister continues to make very good progress," a Downing Street spokeswoman said in a short statement.

Johnson's time in hospital was unprecedented for a British prime minister during a national emergency in modern times, rattling the country and sending shockwaves around the world. Britain, which went into lockdown on March 23, continues to be hit hard by COVID-19, recording nearly 1,000 daily deaths from the virus for the first time on Friday.

It brings the total number of fatalities from coronavirus in British hospitals to nearly 9,000, while the number of confirmed cases in the country climbed close to 74,000. That is thought to reflect only a fraction of the actual number of people infected because not everyone has been tested for the virus.

Despite Johnson's improving condition, it remains unclear when he might be discharged from hospital and how quickly he would return to work once out. His spokesman stressed Friday that his recovery was "at an early stage" and he would act only "on the advice of his medical team".

The Sun tabloid reported his spirits had been lifted this week by his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds, who sent him daily "love letters" and scans of their unborn child. Symonds, who has also suffered from coronavirus symptoms in recent weeks, and the British leader have reportedly not seen each other for nearly a month.

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