U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been released from intensive care and back onto the ward of St Thomas’ Hospital in London, Downing Street has said.
Saying the PM was “in extremely good spirits”, a Downing Street spokesperson said “he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery” from coronavirus.
The announcement came shortly before the now weekly cheering of the National Health Service workers at 8 p.m. local time and Johnson’s fiancé, Carrie Symonds, marked the moment with a tweet of a rainbow and a series of clapping hands emojis.
Johnson has spent three nights in intensive care at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital after he was admitted on Sunday night with persistent symptoms of the virus.
Initially, it was described as a “precautionary” measure, and on Monday he was said to be issuing instructions and working on his ministerial red boxes from his hospital bed.
But by that evening, his condition had deteriorated and he was moved to the intensive care unit in case he required a ventilator.
Earlier Thursday, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the first big breakthrough in Johnson’s health, when he said the PM was now “sitting up in bed” and “engaging positively” with medics.
The latest development was met with relief from politicians from across the political spectrum.
U.S. President Donald Trump said it was “great news”, adding: “Get well Boris!!!”
Earlier in the week, Prime minister Justin Trudeau extended his wishes to Johnson for a quick recovery:
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s first secretary of state, Dominic Raab, said a total of 7,978 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the U.K. as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Raab said the government would make a decision towards the end of next week.
But he stressed the U.K. had not yet reached the peak of the epidemic and that it was “too early” to think about lifting the restrictions until that passes.
“We are not done yet,” he said. “We must keep going.”
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