Coronavirus News USA

Boris Johnson ‘able to do short walks’ after moving out of ICU

“The Prime Minister has been able to do short walks, between periods of rest, as part of the care he is receiving to aid his recovery,” the spokeman for 10 Downing Street said.

“He has spoken to his doctors and thanks the whole clinical team for the incredible care he has received.

Johnson, 55, is “just beginning his recovery” and “continues to be in very good spirits,” his official spokesman said earlier Friday.
The spokesman said he waved his thanks to staff as he was taken from the ICU back to a ward at St Thomas’ Hospital on Thursday evening.

Johnson remains in hospital and will be taking the advice from his medical team, the spokesman said, but there are no plans for him to go to the UK Prime Minister’s countryside retreat, Chequers.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will continue to deputize for him.

Johnson’s spokesman said Thursday that he would “receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery” but was “in extremely good spirits.”

The Prime Minister spent three nights in intensive care and received “standard oxygen treatment,” according to his spokesman, but did not require mechanical or invasive ventilation.

Johnson was taken to hospital on Sunday because he was displaying “persistent” coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive. His condition deteriorated and he was taken into intensive care on Monday, causing a ripple of shock across the UK.

The seriousness of the Prime Minister’s condition at a time of national emergency, combined with the lack of a formal succession procedure for heads of government in the UK, raised questions over who was leading the country.

Politicians from all over the world wished him a swift recovery, with US President Donald Trump sending his “best wishes to a very good friend of mine and a friend of our nation” at a news conference.

By Wednesday, Johnson’s spokesman said he was “clinically stable and is responding to treatment.”

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s finance minister, said at the daily Downing Street press briefing Wednesday that Johnson was “sitting up in bed and engaging positively with the clinical team.”

The Prime Minister’s pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, also experienced Covid-19 symptoms but said over the weekend she was “on the mend.”

Symonds on Thursday night tweeted a picture of a rainbow and clapping hands emojis, to show her support for the UK’s regular Thursday night applause for health workers.

The UK is due to review its lockdown next week, but restrictions are unlikely to be relaxed in the near future, with Johnson’s spokesman saying the government’s advisers would decide when the peak has passed.

The nation is beginning to see a plateau in coronavirus cases, but it is still too early to be clear about lifting social distancing restrictions, NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis said on Friday.

Speaking to Sky News from South London, Powis said: “We’re hopeful we’re beginning to see a plateau. But we need to keep complying with instructions. That’s the way the plateau will turn into a drop.”

CNN’s Lauren Kent contributed reporting.

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