Monday, 6 April 2020

Boris Johnson thanks 'brilliant' NHS from his hospital bed amid fears over his 'persistent' coronavirus symptoms of cough and temperature

Boris Johnson insisted he is in 'good spirits' in hospital today despite mounting fears over his 'persistent' coronavirus symptoms.

The PM thanked 'brilliant' NHS staff after he was dramatically admitted to St Thomas', near Downing Street, last night, with doctors alarmed that his temperature has still not dropped 10 days after his positive diagnosis. 

Taking to Twitter, the 55-year-old insisted he was undergoing 'routine tests' and was 'still in touch with my team' as the government battles the deadly UK outbreak. 

But there are warnings from ministers that Mr Johnson has 'risked his health' by keeping up a frantic workrate, while one senior Tory said he must learn he is 'not indispensable' and has to rest. One MP suggested that he was too keen to emulate his hero, Winston Churchill by defying illness. 

No10 has insisted it was not an emergency admission and the premier remains in control of the government's response, despite staying in hospital with no clear timeframe for being discharged.

However, his effective deputy Dominic Raab chaired the daily coronavirus crisis committee meeting this morning, and full Cabinet tomorrow has been postponed.

The PM's spokesman refused to say whether there has been a diagnosis of pneumonia, although they dismissed claims emanating from Russia that he is on a ventilator as 'disinformation'. 

Asked if symptoms are 'mild' - the word previously used to describe them - the spokesman instead said they were 'persistent' and included a 'a temperature and a cough'.  

Mr Johnson tweeted: 'Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I'm still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I'm in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.

'I'd like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain. Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.'

Experts say there is a risk of pneumonia when a temperature lasts more than a week. There have been claims Mr Johnson has been coughing heavily during conference calls.  

Mr Johnson's spokesman said: 'The Prime Minister was admitted to hospital for tests last night, his symptoms have remained persistent,' the spokesman said. 

'He had a comfortable night in St Thomas's Hospital in London and is in good spirits. He remains in hospital under observation.' 

It emerged at the weekend that Mr Johnson's pregnant partner Carrie Symonds has also been suffering coronavirus, although she is now 'on the mend'. The government's chief medical adviser Chris Whitty has also recovered in a glimmer of good news. 

Earlier, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said Mr Johnson had been 'working incredibly hard' and said he hoped he would be back in Downing Street soon - but did not rule out him being forced to stay in for longer.  

On another turbulent day in the coronavirus crisis:  

  • Humiliated Nicola Sturgeon has admitted the effort to combat coronavirus has been damaged after she was forced to accept the resignation of Scotland's chief medical officer for flouting her own lockdown rules; 
  • Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is out of self-isolation and has been working after recovering from coronavirus;  
  • The Queen has hailed the sacrifice of frontline NHS workers battling the virus in a rare televised address that moved the nation as she praised the resolve of the British people to stay at home telling them: 'We'll meet again'; 
  • The number of cases rose 5,903 to 47,806 and the number of deaths climbed by 621 to 4,934;
  • Worrying figures showed the UK's coronavirus epidemic was set to overtake that suffered by France and Italy; 
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock threatened to revoke the right to exercise outdoors if people continued to flout social distancing measures; 
  • A 54-year-old from Essex became the first midwife to die with coronavirus in England.

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