April 26 Reuters — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday, a Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday, after having recovered from a case of coronavirus that sent him to intensive care for three nights in early April.
Johnson told his cabinet colleagues that he will be back to his normal schedule following his treatment in St. Thomas’ Hospital in London for COVID-19.
He was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in central London suffering from COVID-19 symptoms on April 5 and spent April 6-9 in intensive care.
The prime minister said on April 12 that he had left the hospital “after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question.”
Depending on doctors’ advice, he may host Monday’s daily Downing Street news conference and possibly take on the new Labour leader Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Sky News reported.
“He is ‘raring to go’ and will be back Monday,” Sky News noted, citing a Downing Street source. “He had a Chequers meeting with advisers on Friday and he will be meeting the health secretary, Matt Hancock, and getting back to his normal schedule,” according to the report.
Johnson, 55, will take back control of a government under pressure from the economic fallout of shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the highly infectious virus, as well as a rising death toll.
Criticism is growing over the government response to the pandemic, with limited testing and shortages of protective equipment for medical workers and carers.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is also the first secretary of state, had been deputized by Johnson to carry out his duties as a stand-in during his illness.
Raab has faced questions over how Britain will ease the lockdown without a deadly second wave of infections.
Earlier in the day, the British Department of Health said that a further 813 people had died of COVID-19 as of 1600 GMT on Friday, bringing the death toll to 20,319 and making the UK the fifth nation globally to pass the grim milestone of 20,000 deaths, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France.
Care home deaths and those in the community are still excluded from the British tally.
Britain’s interior minister urged Britons to stick to the lockdown rules earlier on Saturday. But many lawmakers want restrictions to be eased to bolster the economy, which budget forecasters say could be heading into its deepest recession in more than 300 years.