British Prime Minister Boris Johnson owes his life to the NHS staff. In a statement released by No 10, the prime minister, 55, thanked medics at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where he continues to recover after spending three nights in intensive care. Boris Johnson has said he owes his life to the NHS staff treating him for coronavirus.
It comes as UK deaths from the virus are expected to pass 10,000 on Sunday. On Saturday, the UK recorded 917 new coronavirus deaths, taking total hospital deaths to 9,875.
Ministers are continuing to urge people to stay at home over the Easter weekend to curb the spread of the virus, despite warm and sunny weather across parts of the UK. In his first public statement since being moved out of intensive care on Thursday, Mr Johnson paid tribute to the medics treating him, saying: “I can’t thank them enough. I owe them my life.”
Speaking as she led the government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the PM needed “time and space to rest, recuperate and recover”. BBC political correspondent Ben Wright said that “No 10 does not want to speculate about when the PM might leave hospital or be back at his desk, but a return to work does not look imminent.”
“The prime minister is expected to rest and recover in the coming weeks and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will continue to deputise – and will be in charge when ministers carry out a review of the lockdown measures.”
Meanwhile, a message posted from the prime minister’s Twitter account wished the country a happy Easter, as worshippers mark the festival from home. “This year across the country churches will remain closed and families will spend the day apart,” the message said.
“But by staying home, remember, you are protecting the NHS and saving lives”. It comes as 917 hospital deaths were recorded in the 24 hours up to 17:00 BST on Friday – the second day in a row that the figure has been over 900.
The number of new deaths announced on Saturday was slightly down on the previous day’s 980 deaths. The growth of in the total number of new deaths has stalled in recent days, said Robert Cuffe, BBC News’ Head of Statistics – but it is too early to tell whether that number has stopped growing
“There have been reporting lags at weekends and it is possible that a Bank Holiday weekend will include deaths that go unreported until next week,” he said. Spikes or dips may in part reflect bottlenecks in the reporting system, rather than real changes in the trend and these figures do not include those who have died in care homes or the community.