BFF-36 Boris Johnson continues virus recovery as UK death toll nears 10,000

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BFF-36

HEALTH-VIRUS-BRITAIN-LEAD

Boris Johnson continues virus recovery as UK death toll nears 10,000

LONDON, April 11, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson was making
“very good progress” on Saturday in his recovery in hospital from
coronavirus, officials said, as the number of deaths in Britain from the
disease approached the grim milestone of 10,000.

The 55-year-old leader was spending his second full day out of intensive
care at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital, where he has been able to take short
walks between periods of rest, according to Downing Street.

“The Prime Minister continues to make very good progress,” a Downing Street
spokeswoman said in a short statement.

He was hospitalised on Sunday over concerns he still had a cough and high
temperature after spending 10 days in self-isolation with the virus.

A day later he was transferred to the intensive care unit as his condition
deteriorated. Johnson left the unit on Thursday evening in “extremely good
spirits” and waving at staff “in gratitude”, his spokesman has said.

His time in hospital was unprecedented for a British prime minister during
a national emergency in modern times, rattling the country.

Britain, which went into lockdown on March 23, continues to be hit hard,
recording more than 900 daily COVID-19 deaths on Saturday for the second
consecutive day. The health ministry announced in its update that another 917
coronavirus hospital patients had died in the latest 24-hour period, down on
Friday’s toll but still the second highest yet.

It brings the total number of coronavirus fatalities in British hospitals
to 9,875, while the number of confirmed cases in the country climbed by 5,234
to 78,991.

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 that Johnson’s 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.

Their baby is due this summer.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2109hrs