PM Boris discharged from hospital, a week after being admitted for Covid-19
In his first statement after emerging from ICU, Johnson thanked doctors: “I can’t thank them enough. I owe them my life.”Updated: Apr 12, 2020, 18:40 IST
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Sunday moved from St Thomas’ hospital to the country house of Chequers in Buckinghamshire to rest and recuperate from coronavirus, as a senior government advisor admitted the UK could have the worst death rate in Europe.
With Saturday figures putting the death toll at 9,875, the weekend is set to see the figure cross 10,000. The government’s medical advisors believe that if the eventual figure is below 20,000, “it will have done well”.
In his first statement after emerging from ICU, Johnson thanked doctors: “I can’t thank them enough. I owe them my life.”
A Downing Street spokesman later said: “The PM has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery, at Chequers. On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work”.
“He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received. All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”
The UK parliament is due to reopen virtually on April 21. Queen Elizabeth continued an optimistic note to the country in a rare Easter message: “Coronavirus will not overcome us…We need Easter as much as ever…As dark as death can be - particularly for those suffering with grief - light and life are greater”.
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said on Sunday that the UK is likely to see the worst death rate in Europe.
He told BBC: “The numbers in the UK have continued to go up. I do hope we’re coming close to the number of new infections reducing … and the number of deaths plateauing and starting to come down”.
“And yes, the UK is likely to be certainly one of the worst, if not the worst affected country in Europe”.
Farrar added that a second or third wave of the virus “was probably inevitable” and treatment and a vaccine was “our only true exit strategy”. A vaccine could be available by autumn but it would take longer to ramp up manufacturing to the scale required to vaccinate many millions.
“I would hope we would get (that) done in 12 months but that is in itself an unprecedented ambition,” he said.
As medical professionals continued to complain of lack of personal protection equipment while treating patients, new details of those contracting and dying from the virus include pharmacist Pooja Sharma, who worked at the Eastbourne General Hospital in east Sussex.