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Boris Johnson ‘responding to treatment’ in intensive care with coronavirus

UK News | Published:

The Prime Minister continued to be in ‘good spirits’, his official spokesman said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is “responding to treatment” as he remains in a stable condition in the intensive care unit where he is being treated for coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister continued to be in “good spirits” on Wednesday after spending his third night in St Thomas’s Hospital in London, his official spokesman said.

Mr Johnson was said to no longer be working while following the advice of doctors and receiving just the “standard oxygen treatment” and “breathing without any other assistance”.

When asked about further specifics about his condition or treatment, the spokesman said the update includes all the information the PM’s medical team “considers to be clinically relevant”.

As the Government prepares to review the restrictions imposed across the UK, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the lockdown will not end in Wales next week.

“We will not throw away the gains we have made and the lives we have saved by abandoning our efforts just as they begin to bear fruit,” he added.

With the death toll across the UK continuing to rise, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab again chaired the daily Covid-19 meeting on Wednesday morning as he deputises for Mr Johnson.

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Asked if anyone has been in contact with the Prime Minister, his spokesman said: “The PM is not working, he’s in intensive care, he has the ability to contact those that he needs to, he’s following the advice of his doctors at all times.”

At least 7,097 patients have now died in UK hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 as of 5pm on Tuesday, the Department of Health said, a rise of 938 from the day before.

Meanwhile, No 10 said the three-week review of the lockdown will take place “on or around” the three-week mark on Monday, the date Mr Johnson committed to when he announced the measures last month.

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The PM’s spokesman urged the public to “stick with it” at the “critical time” and highlighted the Government’s key advisers having said it was too early to say when the pandemic would reach its peak, making it safe to ease the restrictions.

As the drive to boost care capacity continues, No 10 said the second NHS Nightingale Hospital will be opened on Friday at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

It follows the first of the temporary hospitals, at the ExCel centre in London, taking its first patients on Wednesday. A third facility was expected to be opened in Manchester in “the next week or so”.

In other developments:

– The Royal College of Nursing warned a lack of protective equipment is “fundamentally compromising” the care nurses can give to patients

– The Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News announced they will go into liquidation as the crisis continued to devestate the media industry

– World Health Organisation regional director Dr Hans Kluge warned any easing of restrictions required “very careful consideration” as he warned progress in Europe remained “extremely fragile”.

With the number of cases continuing to rise in the UK, health minister Edward Argar also made clear now is not the time to start easing the restrictions.

“We need to start seeing the numbers coming down and that’s when you’re in the negative,” he told BBC Breakfast.

“That’s when you have a sense when that’s sustained over a period of time, that you can see it coming out of that.

“We’re not there yet and I don’t exactly know when we will be.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the capital now has the capacity it needs to deal with the epidemic after the NHS Nightingale London accepted its first patients two weeks after its construction was formally announced.

Coronavirus – Wed Apr 8, 2020
A medical worker in personal protective equipment outside the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre in London (PA)

“At the moment we’ve still got 25%, about there, capacity within the NHS (in London) before we even go to Nightingale, so it demonstrates the can-do attitude of not just Londoners but those around the country who have helped us get ready for the peak of this virus,” he told BBC Breakfast.

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