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British PM's condition improving from coronavirus

Boris' condition improving

Britain’s Treasury chief says Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is improving in the intensive care unit of a London hospital.

Rishi Sunak says Johnson has been sitting up in bed and engaging with his doctors at St. Thomas’ Hospital.

Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, 10 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was transferred to the ICU on Monday when his condition deteriorated.

Johnson’s spokesman said earlier Wednesday that the prime minister was receiving “standard oxygen treatment” and is breathing without any other assistance.

 

Johnson is “responding to treatment” but remains in intensive care with the new coronavirus, his spokesman said Wednesday, as the U.K. saw its biggest spike in deaths from the virus to date.

A shaken U.K. government sought to keep a grip on its response to the outbreak with its leader hospitalized and the number of COVID-19-related deaths approaching the peaks seen in Italy and Spain, the two countries with the greatest number of fatalities.

Britain's confirmed death toll reached 7,097 on Wednesday, an increase of 938 from 24 hours earlier. Italy recorded 969 deaths on March 27 and Spain 950 deaths on April 2.

Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 and still had a cough and fever 10 days later. He was admitted to St. Thomas' Hospital in London on Sunday and moved to the ICU on Monday after his condition deteriorated. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is standing in for Johnson while he is hospitalized.

Johnson spokesman James Slack said the prime minister continues to receive “standard oxygen treatment” and is breathing without any other assistance.

Johnson’s illness has unleashed a wave of sympathy for the prime minister, including from his political opponents. It has also heightened public unease about the government’s response to the outbreak, which faced criticism even with the energetic Johnson at the helm.

Britain was slower than many other European nations to close schools, shut businesses and restrict people’s movements in a bid to curb infections, and the government has struggled to meet its goal of dramatically increasing the number of individuals tested for the virus.

Britain initially restricted testing to patients in hospitals with coronavirus symptoms, but has begun testing health care workers and their families. The government has said even broader testing will be part of the country’s exit strategy from the lockdown, and has promised to test 100,000 people a day by the end of April. The current number is about 14,000 a day.



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