Full width home advertisement

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

Thank you for saving my life: Boris Johnson stops in Downing Street to deliver tribute to the 'beating heart of this country' NHS before heading with pregnant fiancée Carrie to Chequers by car

Thank you for saving my life: Boris Johnson stops in Downing Street to deliver tribute to the 'beating heart of this country' NHS before heading with pregnant fiancée Carrie to Chequers by car
  • Prime Minister was discharged from St Thomas's Hospital this afternoon after a week of NHS treatment 
  • No 10 said he would head to Chequers but he made a surprise visit to Downing Street with Carrie at his side 
  • In his message to the nation, the PM said there was 'no question' the NHS had saved his life from the virus
  • He later put out a video message on social media thanking the public for their 'sacrifice' in staying at home 
  • Britain's coronavirus death toll surged past 10,000 today, marking a grim milestone in the country's epidemic 
Boris Johnson thanked the NHS for saving his live and the public for their own 'sacrifice' today as he was reunited with pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds following his discharge from hospital.
Following a week at St Thomas's Hospital with coronavirus - including three nights in intensive care - he stopped on his way to recuperate at Chequers to record a message to the nation in Downing Street. 
The couple - and their dog Dilyn - were seen together in the back of an official government car and in scenes which may raise some eyebrows neither they nor the driver or bodyguard were wearing masks.
The PM could be seen with his head down in the back of the car as it drew up this afternoon.
He later posted a video apparently taken inside Downing Street, in which he said there was 'no question' the NHS had saved his life after he contracted coronavirus.  
While name-checking a handful of health workers who cared for him during his spell on the ward, the stricken premier gave special mention to two nurses who watched over him as his chances of survival were balanced on a knife-edge.
Mr Johnson said: 'I hope they won’t mind if I mention in particular two nurses who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way.
'They are Jenny from New Zealand – Invercargill on the South Island to be exact - and Luis from Portugal – near Porto.' 
The Prime Minister went on to thank the entire British public for largely obeying social distancing this Easter.
He said: 'It's hard to find the words to express my debt - but before I come to that, I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made and are making.
'When the sun is out and the kids are at home; when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing.
'I thank you because so many millions and millions of people across this country have been doing the right thing - millions going through the hardship of self-isolation - faithfully, patiently, with thought and care for others as well as for themselves.
'I want you to know that this Easter Sunday I do believe that your efforts are worth it, and are daily proving their worth.' 
It is understood that Ms Symonds, who has completed her own self-isolation after coming down with coronavirus symptoms, will join the PM at Chequers.
Britain's coronavirus death toll surged past 10,000 today, marking a grim milestone in the country's epidemic.
A further 737 people have lost their lives, bringing the total number of fatalities to 10,612 as of Easter Sunday.
Cases also hit 84,279 after an additional 5,288 were diagnosed with the infection following 18,000 new tests, down slightly from yesterday.
Only the United States, France, Italy and Spain have officially broken the 10,000-death threshold, making the UK among the worst-hit places on the planet. 
As the PM's recovery provided a flicker of good news during an unprecedented Easter under lockdown: 
  • Boris Johnson's half brother Max, 35, slammed the care his elder sibling received in Downing Street when self-isolating as a 'shambles'; 
  • Actor and comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor died aged 79 after contracting coronavirus;
  • Ex-Bank of England governor Lord King said some schools and business should reopen;
  • Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said Britain could record more deaths than any other European countries; 
  • Some Britons flouted lockdown rules and were seen soaking up the sun in the nation's parks; 
  • Health Secretary Hancock said he did not have any update on how many NHS staff had died following the 19 he confirmed on Saturday;
  • The Queen stressed the importance of maintaining the coronavirus lockdown, but insisted: 'Easter isn't cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever'. 
The  Prime Minister is spotted in the back of a car in Downing Street this afternoon. He is expected to head to Chequers for rehabilitation

Mr Johnson's video message from inside no 10 this afternoon, after he was discharged from hospital


The Prime Minister's pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds spotted in the same vehicle as Mr Johnson was discharged from hospital. It is understood his fiancee will be with him as he recovers
The Prime Minister's pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds spotted in the same vehicle as Mr Johnson was discharged from hospital. It is understood his fiancee will be with him as he recovers
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the PM's recovery was 'great news' but added: 'The fact that over 10,000 people have now lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious coronavirus is and why the national effort that everyone in engaged in is so important.' 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock vows 'we won't rest' until all NHS medics have PPE they need 

Matt Hancock vowed  'we will not' rest to get vital protective equipment to NHS staff today as the main nursing union told its members they could refuse to treat coronavirus patients if they felt unsafe.
The Health Secretary came under mounting pressure at the daily news conference this afternoon as he revealed that under-pressure units face on average a two-and-a-half-day wait to be restocked with personal protective equipment (PPE).
He spoke after the  Royal College of Nursing (RCN) advised its members to refuse to treat coronavirus patients as 'a last resort' amid claims vital items like masks, goggles and gowns are still not reaching the frontlines.  
A spokesman for the union admitted that with-holding treatment would 'go against every instinct', but added that 'their safety must not be compromised'.
One nurse, Becky Usher, 38, who works at Dewsbury and District Hospital in West Yorkshire, remains critically ill on a ventilator after treating patients without a mask.
When asked about the supply of PPE and if the government could commit to a date to deliver more PPE, Mr Hancock said: 'It's impossible because the quest is to get the right PPE to the right people on the front line at the right time across many millions of people across the NHS and social care.
'I'm glad to say that effort is moving in the right direction, we now have record amounts of PPE that's been put out into the system but until everyone gets the PPE they need then we won't rest.The Prime Minister had gone in to self-isolation on Match 27 after testing positive for coronavirus. Ms Symonds went to quarantine herself at the couple's south London home. 
On April 4 she too confirmed that she too had suffered coronavirus symptoms but had recovered.
Downing Street confirmed this afternoon that the PM will now head to his official country residence of Chequers in Buckinghamshire to rest.
A spokesman said that 'on the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work'. 
As his release was revealed, Ms Symonds tweeted her praise for staff at St Thomas's, adding: 'There were times last week that were very dark indeed. 
'My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones. 
'I cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough. The staff at St Thomas' Hospital have been incredible. I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you.'
Because the PM will need time to recover, it means that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is likely to remain in day-to-day charge of running the Government, for the time being at least. 
Mr Johnson's father Stanley voiced his hope that his son  does not overdo it' while recovering at Chequers, adding: 'I realise now - I think the whole country realises - how close he came to a crisis situation and it is wonderful he has come out of that crisis.'
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth was among those who wished the Pm a speedy recovery, tweeting: 'Best wishes to the Prime Minister for a continued recovery. 
'I know our NHS staff everywhere are showing themselves again to be exceptional and brave in caring for all our loved ones at this time of health emergency. '  Police officers wearing gloves and masks on patrol outside Chequers in Buckinghamshire today ahead of the Prime Minister's arrival
His pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds tweeted her praise for staff at St Thomas's Hospital, adding: 'There were times last week that were very dark indeed
New figures released by the Government today show traffic fell on Good Friday, perhaps impacted by a fall in work traffic on a bank holiday
The number of new coronavirus confirmed cases, split between tests administered in hospitals (blue) and drive-through centres (orange)
Friends of the PM last night revealed how close the Prime Minister had been to death. 
They relayed a message from the premier who said he owed his life to the NHS medics and added: 'I can't thank them enough.' 
Indeed, a delighted member of his family likened the recovery to a biblical resurrection, and upon hearing he had been discharged from critical care made a timely Easter allusion, saying: 'He is risen'.
When 'the boss' was first moved into intensive care on Monday night, cabinet colleagues took to the airwaves to assure the stricken PM would pull through and hailed him a 'fighter'.
But behind closed doors, his team of ministers and advisers exchanged private calls where they were forced to swallow the grim reality that the PM's chances were on a knife-edge at '50-50'.
Crushed aides who eulogise Mr Johnson as the glue binding together a tight-knit Downing Street team were even moved to prayers.  
After three nail-biting nights, they finally celebrated as the physically drained but 'euphoric' PM was released from intensive care and moved back into a general care ward. 
The hospitalisation of the country's head of government hammered home the indiscriminate nature of the virus and shook ministers to the core.
One cabinet member told the Sunday Telegraph: 'It took us all by surprise. We all think we're sort of invincible.' 
Devouring his Tintin books which tell the adventures of a Belgian journalist - Mr Johnson made his name as a correspondent in Brussels - the PM is thankfully on the road to recovery and is being boosted by scans of his unborn baby sent by his fiancée Carrie Symonds.
Number 10 advisers have now reportedly turned their attention to how to tell their determined boss he needs time to recover.
'It will have been a shock and hopefully enough to convince him that he needs to take it easy,' a source told the Sunday Times.  

Ministers 'order NHS mobile phone app tracker' to allow the coronavirus lockdown to be lifted

Ministers have demanded NHS tech experts create a mobile phone app that could allow them to lift the stringent lock-down that has brought Britain to a halt.
NHSX, the health service's technological arm, is said to be working on software which uses bluetooth technology to warn those who download it when they have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
They hope that the project, which involves Google and Apple, who run the two main smartphone operating systems, combined with massive increases in testing, could allow the lockdown to be lifted by the end of May.
'We believe this could be important in helping the country return to normality,' a source told the Sunday Times.
A further 979 coronavirus deaths were announced yesterday, bringing the total in the UK to 9,937. It means that the UK is almost certain to break the 10,000 fatality when new numbers are announced later today.
However, the announcement came as a former head of MI5 warned ministers there had to be powerful 'oversight and accountability' if the public is going to accept such an invasion of privacy.
Lord Jonathan Evans, who led Britain's domestic security service from 2007 to 2013, said that existing technology used in counter-terrorism and organised crime probes could be used.
A graph showing new UK cases which are reported when lab tests are completed. This may be a few days after initial testing
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the PM's recovery was 'great news' but added: 'The fact that over 10,000 people have now lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious coronavirus is and why the national effort that everyone in engaged in is so important'
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the PM's recovery was 'great news' but added: 'The fact that over 10,000 people have now lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious coronavirus is and why the national effort that everyone in engaged in is so important'

CORONAVIRUS: WHAT ARE THE RISKS TO PREGNANT WOMEN? 

Pregnant women are not believed to be more susceptible to the consequences of coronavirus than any other person.
The majority of expectant mothers who catch the virus will most likely only experience mild or moderate cold or flu-like symptoms, according to the NHS. 
The health service added that the most severe symptoms of coronavirus, such as pneumonia, appear to be more common in older people and those with weakened immune systems. 
However, pregnant women are more vulnerable to catching infections than those who are not.
There is currently no evidence to suggest those who contract the virus have an increased risk of miscarriage.
Some babies born to women in China, where the virus originated last December, who had symptoms of coronavirus were born prematurely.
What isn't clear, however, is whether the virus caused the premature births or if doctors made the decision for the baby to be born early due to the virus.   
There is also evidence to suggest vertical transmission - from a mother to a baby - is possible, although there have only been a handful of cases reported.  
It was also reported last week that a pregnant woman died while in labour in London after testing positive for Covid-19, though it is unclear whether she had any underlying health conditions.  
Her child survived the birth, and an investigation into the mother's death has been launched.      
When Mr Johnson first began self-isolating with the disease on March 27, he had a stripped-back workload but continued taking his red box and steering the government's crisis response.

One of his first acknowledgements that the energy-sapping disease was taking its toll came on April 2, the day before his seven-day isolation period ended, during the daily 9.15am morning coronavirus meeting.
After coughing over videolink from his Number 11 flat, Mr Johnson told his Covid-19 taskforce: 'I've got it and, I can tell you, it's a b****r this thing,' according to the Telegraph.    
When the PM was moved out of intensive care on Thursday following three days of oxygen treatment, a member of his family compared his recovery to the resurrection and remarked: 'He is risen', according to the Times. 
His condition was described as 'exhausted but euphoric', the Sun on Sunday reports.
While in hospital, Mr Johnson has been boosted by a love letter from his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, which included a scan of their unborn child. 
The Prime Minister plans to recuperate at Chequers after his release from hospital but his allies insist he will control the vital process of when – and how – Britain emerges from the lockdown. 
One source told the Times: 'Who is going to make the speeches conditioning the nation for the big decisions and lifting national morale, if not Boris?'.  
Overnight, the PM's half brother Max Johnson, 35, branded the care the premier received while self-isolating in Downing Street a 'shambles'.
In a rare intervention, the Hong-Kong based businessman told CNN: 'From what I gather, and I wasn't there, no one asked a doctor to mask up and physically examine him the whole time - more than 10 days.'Transport usage continues to be at a very low level since the lockdown was imposed by the Prime Minister on March 23

'He'd tested positive so there was no doubt what he was dealing with. The word 'shambles' comes to mind.'

Britain's supply chain of food and medicine could grind to a halt 

Britain's vital supply chain could grind to a halt as nearly half of the country's lorries have been taken off the road since the coronavirus crisis began, an industry body has warned. 
The lorries are transporting essential goods such as food and medicine up and down Britain as the country continues to battle the pandemic.
Britain's spiralling death toll hit 10,000 today with 737 new fatalities.
The Road Haulage Association warned it is reaching crisis point with many transport firms are on the brink of collapse.
If they go under, the UK's fleet of lorries which deliver essentials will stand idle.
Multiple shops and factories rely on hundreds of small independent hauliers to ferry goods to them from distribution centres and ports.
But 46 per cent of the trucks have been taken off the road since the crisis began, an RHA survey found. 
The PM's steady recovery came as fears grew of a surge in deaths. 
The government has begged the public to stay indoors, but still this weekend police were forced to have words with people enjoying the good weather in parks.  
Parks and beaches are once again filling up with people flouting lockdown rules by sunbathing - as councils have been forced to shut cemeteries to stop Easter mourners gathering to lay flowers.
Shocking pictures have shown sunbathers lounging on the grass around London including at Battersea Park.
Councils closed cemeteries ahead of Easter to stop mourners gathering and laying flowers over the Holy weekend.
Away from London, beaches are far quieter than normal Bank Holiday weekend, but a minority continue to head out for walks along the shore. It comes after the coastguard was called out to a scuba diver who was caught fishing under Brighton Pier on Saturday night.
Revellers are returning to Beachy Head after groups were seen standing on the edge of the cliff in the sunshine on Saturday.
Politicians and nurses have repeatedly pleaded with the country to stay indoors and protect the NHS, but the spring heat wave has seen a small group of people, now being referred to online as #Covidiots, ignoring advice.
It came after a top scientist said Britain could surpass the number of deaths recorded in Europe. 
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said increasing testing would 'buy you time' to allow the health service to deal with the crisis, and there were 'lessons to be learned from that'. 
Walkers and cyclists are having trouble obeying the two metre social distancing rule while walking along the canal path at Hertford Union canal in London on Sunday
Temperatures reached up to 70F in Brighton, but this group of young men in coats had to be moved off the beach on Sunday afternoon. Police were out patrolling the beachfront from the move any loiterers along
Tim Brooke-Taylor's agent said in a statement: 'It is with great sadness that we announce Tim's death early today from Covid-19'

Actor and comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor was today announced to have died after contracting the virus. 
His agent said in a statement: 'It is with great sadness that we announce Tim's death early today from Covid-19. 
The Sorry I Haven't A Clue and The Goodies star leaves behind his wife Christine and two sons. 
Comedian Jack Dee, who hosts the BBC Radio 4 series I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue called the news 'devastating' adding that they thought he was recovering from the 'dreadful virus' 

Boris Johnson's address to the nation in full: Prime Minister thanks NHS staff and public for staying indoors after being discharged from hospital 

Boris Jonson speaks from Downing Street
Boris Jonson speaks from Downing Street
On his release from St Thomas' Hospital this afternoon, the Prime Minister addressed the nation in a video posted on Twitter. Below is the full transcript of what he said: 
Good afternoon,
I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question.
It’s hard to find the words to express my debt - but before I come to that I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made and are making.
When the sun is out and the kids are at home; when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing
I thank you because so many millions and millions of people across this country have been doing the right thing - millions going through the hardship of self-isolation - faithfully, patiently, with thought and care for others as well as for themselves.
I want you to know that this Easter Sunday I do believe that your efforts are worth it, and are daily proving their worth.
Because although we mourn every day those who are taken from us in such numbers, and though the struggle is by no means over, we are now making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus.
A fight we never picked against an enemy we still don’t entirely understand.
We are making progress in this national battle because the British public formed a human shield around this country’s greatest national asset - our National Health Service.
We understood and we decided that if together we could keep our NHS safe, if we could stop our NHS from being overwhelmed, then we could not be beaten, and this country would rise together and overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past.
In the last seven days I have of course seen the pressure that the NHS is under.
I have seen the personal courage not just of the doctors and nurses but of everyone, the cleaners, the cooks, the health care workers of every description - physios, radiographers, pharmacists - who have kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept risking this deadly virus.
It is thanks to that courage, that devotion, that duty and that love that our NHS has been unbeatable.
I want to pay my own thanks to the utterly brilliant doctors, leaders in their fields, men and women but several of them for some reason called Nick, who took some crucial decisions a few days ago for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life.
I want to thank the many nurses, men and women, whose care has been so astonishing.
I am going to forget some names, so forgive me, but I want to thank Po Ling and Shannon and Emily and Angel and Connie and Becky and Rachael and Nicky and Ann.
And I hope they won’t mind if I mention in particular two nurses who stood by my bedside for 48 hours when things could have gone either way.
They are Jenny from New Zealand – Invercargill on the South Island to be exact - and Luis from Portugal – near Porto.
And the reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed.
So that is how I also know that across this country, 24 hours a day, for every second of every hour, there are hundreds of thousands of NHS staff who are acting with the same care and thought and precision as Jenny and Luis.
That is why we will defeat this coronavirus and defeat it together.
We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.
So thank you from me, and from all of us, to the NHS, and let’s remember to follow the rules on social distancing. Stay at home, protect our NHS – and save lives.
Thank you, and Happy Easter. 

Doctors waiting at St Thomas's hospital for Boris Johnson to arrive only realised he wasn't coming when they saw him clapping the NHS on TV, reveals HARRY COLE, as he shares the dramatic inside story of the PM's coronavirus battle

Medics were expecting Boris Johnson to be rushed to hospital three days before he was finally admitted – and only realised that he wasn't coming when they saw him clapping for the NHS that evening on their television screens. 
The doctors at St Thomas' Hospital in London were wearing full protective clothing on Thursday April 2 after managers warned they could expect Mr Johnson to arrive at short notice. 
But then they saw the Prime Minister applauding from the steps of No11 Downing Street at 8pm. 
Mr Johnson was boosted by a love letter from his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, which included a scan of their unborn child (pictured together)

As Mr Johnson continued his recovery last night, friends finally conceded just how desperately ill he had been by the time he was taken into intensive care on Monday. 
He was so unwell that he believes he owes his life to the care he received from the NHS. 
For days after it was announced on March 27 that the Prime Minister had tested positive for the coronavirus, Mr Johnson's symptoms were described as 'mild'. 
But after struggling through the 9.15am Covid-19 'War Cabinet' meeting on April 2, the PM conceded that he could not shake his persistent cough and temperature and would not be ending his seven-day isolation as scheduled the next day. 
In frank talks with both his doctor and his private secretary, Martin Reynolds, insiders say he agreed to a significantly reduced workload and was sent to his bed. 
A Government source described Mr Johnson as 'resistant' to the idea of going into hospital for fear of it looking like he was receiving preferential treatment, but Downing Street last night insisted that he acted on the advice of his doctors.
It was agreed on April 2 that he would remain in self- ­isolation above No11 with his symptoms reviewed on Saturday morning. 
However, Ministers, aides and friends now say privately that he should have gone into hospital much earlier. 'It was clear he was in a terrible state all week,' said one. 
According to NHS sources, the team at St ­Thomas' were already 'scrubbed up and in PPE' [personal protective equipment] at a secret entrance to the hospital on Thursday evening when they were told that the PM was no longer coming. 
Preparations had followed a clearly defined plan created by NHS chiefs after news that the then Prime Minister Tony Blair had been admitted to Hammersmith Hospital with a heart scare in October 2003 was leaked to the media. 
The protocol set out how the PM would use a secret entrance and take a designated route along sealed corridors and lifts to a private 'magic room' on level 12. A secure computer system would be used to ensure his medical notes were inaccessible to all but a tight group of experts. 

However, Ministers, aides and friends now say privately that he should have gone into hospital much earlier. 'It was clear he was in a terrible state all week,' said one. 
According to NHS sources, the team at St ­Thomas' were already 'scrubbed up and in PPE' [personal protective equipment] at a secret entrance to the hospital on Thursday evening when they were told that the PM was no longer coming. 
Preparations had followed a clearly defined plan created by NHS chiefs after news that the then Prime Minister Tony Blair had been admitted to Hammersmith Hospital with a heart scare in October 2003 was leaked to the media. 
The protocol set out how the PM would use a secret entrance and take a designated route along sealed corridors and lifts to a private 'magic room' on level 12. A secure computer system would be used to ensure his medical notes were inaccessible to all but a tight group of experts. 
By Saturday April 4, the check-up quickly established that Mr Johnson's condition had worsened. Mr Reynolds 'cleared the PM's diary completely', but by the following afternoon it was clear there was no choice but to take him to hospital. 
A source said Mr Johnson was conscious when he arrived, but 'very, very unwell'. 
He was put on oxygen via a tube through his nose within ten minutes of arrival. 
Concerned by the possible public reaction to the PM's incapacitation, Downing Street described his admission as a 'precautionary step' for tests, adding that Mr Johnson would be receiving a ministerial red box so he could continue to work from his hospital bed. 
In reality, his condition worsened throughout Sunday evening and Monday. An added complication was the poor mobile phone reception at the hospital, coupled with a warning to Mr Johnson not to use the public wi-fi for security reasons. 

Hancock repeats claims of PPE over use 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaking this morning
Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaking this morning
A row has erupted between the Government and nurses after Matt Hancock again cautioned coronavirus medics against overusing personal protective equipment.
The Health Secretary insisted there was enough protective clothing to meet demand, but urged health workers to treat the gear like a 'precious' resource.
His remarks doubled down on comments made at yesterday's Downing Street press briefing where he responded to reports from the frontline of a dire shortage of protective equipment.
Royal College of Nursing's Donna Kinnair said no amount of PPE was 'more precious a resource than a healthcare worker's life, a nurse's life, a doctor's life'.  She told BBC Breakfast: 'I take offence actually that we are saying that healthcare workers are abusing or overusing PPE.
'I think what we know is, we don't have enough supply and not enough regular supply of PPE. This is the number one priority nurses are bringing to my attention, that they do not have adequate supply of equipment.' 
Sources say engineers were sent to boost the signal in Mr Johnson's room, but in any event by Monday he was too unwell to even look at his phone or respond to texts and WhatsApp messages. 
Despite the upbeat comments from No 10, the ashen-faced ­appearance of Dominic Raab – who had been asked to deputise for Mr Johnson at the Monday afternoon press briefing – betrayed the mounting concern. 
At about 6pm on Monday, shortly after Mr Raab assured the nation that the PM was 'in good spirits', Carrie Symonds received the call from her fiance's doctors that she had been dreading. 
Despite the ­oxygen treatment, she was told that Mr Johnson was not improving and the likelihood of him having to be put on a ventilator in intensive care was quickly growing. It was ominous news. 
A study of some 1,400 patients by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found that more than half of Covid-19 patients who are admitted to intensive care died. 
Anguished, yet prevented from being by his bed, Ms Symonds wrote her husband-to-be a love ­letter, attaching a scan of their unborn child. Meanwhile, aides and doctors faced the logistical problem of moving the PM to the intensive care unit, which was on a different floor from his room. 
A source said transferring such a high-profile patient required a 'big operation that cannot be done quickly… so the decision was made to move him sooner rather than later', adding: 'We don't want to do this stuff at 2am.' 
Back in Downing Street, staff were left in stunned silence by the news. 
'It was terrifying how fast things happened. I couldn't believe it,' one senior official said. Having already spoken to the PM, Mr Reynolds alerted Buckingham Palace and Mr Raab was summoned to No10, where he was briefed by Cabinet Office bosses Sir Mark Sedwill and Helen MacNamara on the PM's condition and on his new duties. 
Meanwhile, the PM's spokesman James Slack prepared a public statement and a BBC camera crew sent to film an address by a visibly shaken Mr Raab. 
A conference call was arranged for the Cabinet during which Michael Gove said: 'I think I speak for everyone when I say our thoughts and prayers are with the Prime Minister.' 

David Blunkett blasts 'Sermon on the Mount' daily coronavirus briefings by ministers 

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has blasted the daily coronavirus briefings, saying they have become like a 'Sermon on the Mount'.
The Labour life peer made the comments in an interview on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, during a discussion on the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked about the police and political reaction to the crisis, Blunkett responded saying people are being 'hectored', including during the daily coronavirus briefings which have been running since March 16.
He said: 'Actually we talk, talk, talk and we hector people, I mean the daily press briefings now just become a Sermon on the Mount'
An official said: 'It was one of those nights where all there really was was prayer.' As Mr Johnson fought for his life on Monday night, a bizarre – and undignified – public relations battle was being played out through the switchboard of St Thomas' hospital. 
'We had the drug companies contact his doctors at the hospital in London, and they're talking right now,' US President Donald Trump told Fox News – wrongly, as it turned out. 
The White House had contacted the hospital but, in fact, had been politely directed toward to Foreign Office rather than to Mr Johnson's team. The Americans were not alone – China was offering drugs as well. 
'The switchboard went into meltdown,' an NHS source said. 
'First the White House rings and offers to send drugs to treat the PM, then a series of Chinese firms call on behalf of their government also offering to send drugs.' 
None of the offers was accepted. 'We're confident the Prime Minister is receiving the best possible care from the National Health Service,' No10 said curtly on Tuesday morning. 
While the nation reeled, Mr Johnson had a better night than expected and his temperature began to fall on Tuesday morning. 
Messages of support from royalty, celebrities and thousands of public well-wishers were compiled by Ms Symonds and sent to the PM. 
They included an image of NHS workers on the Nason Ward at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton posing with a Get Well Soon Boris sign. 
Downing Street staff endured a 'terrible wait' for twice daily medical updates from the hospital, fed through Ms Symonds. 
'Every day we were waiting to hear from the hospital, hoping for a bit of good news,' said one senior official. 
'You can't get the fear out of your head that he could take a turn for the worse.' 
Slowly but surely, the PM was 'going the right way' during Tuesday and Wednesday, as he responded to the oxygen given to him in intensive care. 
However, he endured three long nights before he was well enough to leave the unit on Thursday afternoon. 
Abandoning the secrecy in which he had entered the hospital, the PM was described by one hospital insider as 'euphoric' and waving at doctors and nurses on his way out of ICU. Incredibly, he again joined in the applause for NHS workers at 8pm on Thursday – this time from his hospital bed. 
Mr Johnson has since told friends of the 'exemplary' care he has received from doctors and nurses. 
'I can't thank them enough. I owe them my life,' he said on Friday. He is continuing his recovery this weekend, helped by home-baked chocolate brownies sent by Ms Symonds. 
But he remains weak and will take some weeks to rebuild his strength. No10 aides have provided Mr Johnson with an iPad loaded with his favourite films, but he has spent most of the time sleeping or making short FaceTime video calls to Ms Symonds. 
Under doctors' orders to limit his time on the phone, he has read a thriller dug out by a nurse and stories of Tintin, his childhood favourite, sent by his worried family. 
He is expected to recuperate at Chequers, the PM's Buckinghamshire retreat, with a phased return to work, but is understood to want to oversee the decision on when – and how – to end the lockdown. 
Meanwhile, finger-pointing over the timing of Mr Johnson's admission to hospital has begun. 
One friend said last night: 'Those who care about Boris and have known him for a very long time and could say to him 'Mate, you're unwell you need to look after yourself' have been frozen out by the No10 gang. 
'And it seems they were too frightened to stand up to the PM when he needed advisers the most. 'That can never be allowed to happen again.'

Getting sick? That's for wimps! With titanic self-belief, Boris Johnson has always ignored illness, says author TOM BOWER, as he explains why a sense of his own invincibility lies at the heart of all the PM's strengths and flaws

By Tom Bower for the Mail on Sunday
Like the Incredible Hulk, the comic book superhero with whom he's compared himself, Boris Johnson has made it his trademark to defy the odds.
Overcoming a career littered with gaffes and blunders has required cunning and stubborn single-mindedness, while facing down the constant torrent of envy and abuse from his many enemies has needed awesome self-control.
But never before has Boris's resolution to triumph been more challenged, as his body tackles this frightening disease and what could still be his ultimate test.
It was in an interview with The Mail on Sunday last September, at the height of the Brexit crisis, that Boris pledged he would bust Britain out of Brussels' manacles like the Incredible Hulk.

No comments:

Post a comment

Bottom Ad [Post Page]