Press "Enter" to skip to content

Coronavirus UK: Boris Johnson won’t return to work immediately

Boris Johnson tested negative for coronavirus before he was released from hospital, Downing Street confirmed today, as the Prime Minister starts his road to recovery at his Chequers country estate. 

Number 10 said the PM spoke to Dominic Raab ‘over the course of the weekend’ with the First Secretary of State continuing to deputise for Mr Johnson.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said at lunchtime that Mr Johnson is ‘not immediately returning to work’ and that he will be ‘guided by the advice of his doctors’. 

Mr Johnson was today spotted walking in the grounds of Chequers with his partner Carrie Symonds and pet dog Dilyn. 

The Cabinet is divided on when the premier should return to work given that he is under strict doctors’ orders to rest at his grace and favour home in Buckinghamshire.

Some senior ministers are already said to be pushing for him to be involved in the decision – expected on Thursday – on whether the UK’s lockdown will be extended. 

An extension of the social distancing restrictions is viewed as a formality but the duration is still up for discussion with some adamant it must be Mr Johnson’s decision. 

However, medical experts have warned the PM must not return to work too soon or he could risk a relapse.  

Some MPs have expressed concerns about asking someone who has only just come out of intensive care to make major decisions, insisting he must be ‘firing on all cylinders’ when he does come back. 

The updates on the PM’s condition came amid warnings that the UK’s GDP could crash by up to 30 per cent in the current quarter, potentially costing millions of jobs, because of coronavirus disruption.

The decision on whether to lift lockdown restrictions in Britain is likely to draw heavily on the situation in Italy and Spain which appear to be past the peaks of their outbreaks and are tentatively starting to loosen their lockdowns.   

Boris Johnson, pictured delivering his Easter message yesterday after he was released from hospital, is now recovering at his Chequers country estate

Boris Johnson, pictured delivering his Easter message yesterday after he was released from hospital, is now recovering at his Chequers country estate

Boris Johnson, pictured delivering his Easter message yesterday after he was released from hospital, is now recovering at his Chequers country estate

Mr Johnson is under strict doctors' orders to rest at the PM's grace and favour Buckinghamshire home

Mr Johnson is under strict doctors' orders to rest at the PM's grace and favour Buckinghamshire home

Mr Johnson is under strict doctors’ orders to rest at the PM’s grace and favour Buckinghamshire home 

New study shows 70 per cent of intensive care patients suffer long-term health problems as Boris Johnson starts road to recovery

Most patients admitted to intensive care suffer long-term physical and mental health problems, scientists have claimed in a new study, as Boris Johnson begins his recovery from coronavirus. 

Seven in ten ICU survivors end up with post intensive care syndrome, which can include fatigue, frailty, anxiety or difficulty holding a conversation.

The findings, based on 1,300 people, are the first from an ongoing five-year study across hospitals in the Netherlands.  

Researchers said their findings are likely to apply to critically-ill COVID-19 patients, who can spend weeks in hospital battling the killer infection.  

The publication of the findings comes after the Prime Minister was moved from an intensive care unit back to a ward on Thursday night last week.

He then spent two-and-a-half more days at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London before he was allowed to leave yesterday. 

Downing Street confirmed he tested negative before he was released and went to his Chequers country estate to continue his recovery.

The World Health Organization says a coronavirus patient can be discharged after two negative results taken 24 hours apart.  

Scientists say patients can recover as soon as their antibodies start to successfully fight the life-threatening infection, regardless of how ill they were. 

Antibodies are substances made by the immune system in response to an infection, and eventually destroy an invading pathogen.  

How well people recover from COVID-19 – a coronavirus that is closely related to the bug behind SARS – is not well understood yet.

With many viral illnesses, such as measles, the body builds up immunity after it has been infected with them once, and this may last for a lifetime.

Immunity means the body remembers how to fight a virus so well that it can destroy it before symptoms begin if someone catches the bug.

Scientists are still not certain that people will develop total immunity to SARS-Cov-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, after they have had it.

But the overwhelming belief is that people will not catch it twice, prompting hope of using antibody tests to work out who is immune.

The fact that so few people appear to have fallen ill a second time appears to prove people only get ill once. Tests on monkeys have also backed the theory.

Fears have been raised that people can be struck down twice after reports in China, South Korea and Japan of patients being reinfected.

Some experts believe this was down to unreliable tests, while others say similar coronaviruses induce immunity for around three months.

The coronavirus appears to be slow-mutating and only to have developed into a few strains since it first jumped to humans. 

On the flipside, the flu mutates so fast that human immune systems cannot keep up, meaning people need a new vaccine every winter. 

The government‘s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) will weigh up data relating to the lockdown and the spread of the disease in the coming days. 

A decision on extending the UK’s restrictions is then due to be taken by Thursday this week – likely at a COBRA meeting – with the current measures now having been in place for almost three weeks. 

The lockdown has hobbled the UK economy and that is why some ministers believe it must be Mr Johnson who signs off on what happens next by dialling into discussions later on this week.

One Cabinet source told The Telegraph: ‘The prime minister has to take that decision. 

‘Any lockdown will have huge implications, and the PM will be responsible for it, so he’s got to be the one taking that decision.’

However, not everyone in the Cabinet agrees. 

Some ministers are of the view that First Secretary of State Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Mr Johnson, can take the decision without involving the PM. 

A source said: ‘I don’t think the Cabinet wants to be pulling the prime minister out of his recovery and risking him getting worse.’ 

Downing Street said today that Mr Johnson is focusing on his recovery as the PM’s spokesman also confirmed reports that the premier had tested negative for the deadly disease before he was released from hospital.

Number 10 described the picturesque Chequers countryside retreat as a ‘suitable place for the Prime Minister to continue his recovery’.

Mr Johnson is not currently receiving his daily ministerial red box containing briefing papers from officials as Mr Raab continues to run the country. 

A new study has shown the majority of patients admitted to intensive care suffer long-term physical and mental health problems.

Research found that seven in 10 ICU survivors end up with intensive care syndrome which can include fatigue, frailty, anxiety or difficulty holding a conversation. 

The findings, based on 1,300 people, are the first from an ongoing five-year study across hospitals in the Netherlands. 

Scientists believe the findings are likely to apply to critically ill coronavirus patients.

A senior Tory MP questioned the wisdom of the PM potentially being involved in big decisions so soon after his ICU battle.

The MP told MailOnline: ‘There is a concern about that and I think that he has got to listen to medical advice. 

‘But subject to him listening to that medical advice I am pretty sure he will want to be the one to make that decision.

‘Every report I have read from survivors indicates that it knocks them about tremendously so he does have to watch his own health.’

The MP added: ‘Irrespective of what the medics say he will probably want to be involved in that decision and to give the sign off on it.

‘I think he understands the buck stops with him.’

The World Health Organization says a coronavirus patient can be discharged after two negative results taken 24 hours apart.  

Scientists say patients can recover as soon as their antibodies start to successfully fight the life-threatening infection, regardless of how ill they were. 

Antibodies are substances made by the immune system in response to an infection, and eventually destroy an invading pathogen.  

Some ministers believe Dominic Raab, pictured in Whitehall today, can make the decision on extending lockdown and that Mr Johnson should focus on resting

Some ministers believe Dominic Raab, pictured in Whitehall today, can make the decision on extending lockdown and that Mr Johnson should focus on resting

Some ministers believe Dominic Raab, pictured in Whitehall today, can make the decision on extending lockdown and that Mr Johnson should focus on resting 

The implications of the timing on the lockdown decision has been cast into sharp relief with Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured in Whitehall last week) warning that UK plc could shrink by 25-30 per cent in the coming months

The implications of the timing on the lockdown decision has been cast into sharp relief with Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured in Whitehall last week) warning that UK plc could shrink by 25-30 per cent in the coming months

The implications of the timing on the lockdown decision has been cast into sharp relief with Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured in Whitehall last week) warning that UK plc could shrink by 25-30 per cent in the coming months

Survivors reveal how the crippling illness left them breathless and weak for weeks after recovery

Coronavirus sufferers in the UK have revealed how the crippling illness left them weak, breathless and coughing even after they had recovered.

More than 84,000 people have been officially diagnosed with the infection since Britain’s outbreak began in February – 10,612 of them have died but many more have recovered.

Getting over the virus takes more than just waiting for the infection to heal, however, and people emerging from their ordeals say it left them totally beaten.

Dani Schuchman, a 40-year-old cyclist, said he no longer has the energy to go out on his bike and can only walk around 2.5miles at a time.

Primary school teacher Brian Mephin, said in a breathless video he was ‘wiped out’ and even struggled to walk up the stairs after he was discharged from hospital.

And a Manchester man known only as Andrew admitted he has been ‘left breathless’ after recovering from the illness. 

Recovering from the virus also takes a psychological toll on those who become seriously ill. Pregnant mother-of-three Karen Mannering said being hospitalised with COVID-19 was her ‘darkest hours’.  

Meanwhile, Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke told MailOnline those demanding Mr Johnson set a timetable for coming back needed to ‘grow up’ as he said the PM needs to be ‘firing on all cylinders’ before returning full time.

‘I am just concerned that the PM takes the time he needs to recover,’ he said.

‘At the end of the day we now know he has been very, very seriously ill. He said himself it could have gone one way or the other.

‘He doesn’t need to rush back. He has got the entire support of the country behind him. People recognise how serious it was, how hard he was working.’

The Conservative Party vice-chairman added that Mr Johnson should be taking it easy for ‘at least a couple of weeks’.

‘I think politicians who say ‘what’s going on’ – almost pushing the pressure for him to come back – need to grow up a bit because the public want him to make a full recovery,’ Mr Shelbrooke added.

‘I don’t want to see him rush back into things. I want to make sure he’s OK.’  

Pressure is mounting on the government to lift at least some of the social distancing restrictions after it was reported that Mr Sunak is estimating the lockdown will have a massive impact on the economy. 

Deliveries of PPE from China ‘faulty and wrongly labelled’ 

Delivering lifesaving protective gear to frontline health staff has become ‘hand to mouth’, an NHS leader has revealed.

The Government is airlifting in crates from China on a daily basis but some are being removed from planes before take-off by officials who want to test them. Other boxes are reaching the UK only for NHS officials to discover that they have been wrongly labelled.

Rather than containing much needed protective gowns, they are filled with masks. Even worse, much of the kit from China – the world’s main supplier – is unusable because it fails UK safety checks.

The astonishing revelations come from Chris Hopson of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, ambulance services and mental health trusts. He said: ‘It’s all been a bit hand to mouth.

‘The heart of the problem is that getting that stock that was ordered weeks ago from China is proving somewhat erratic.’ He said China was the only country with access to the right materials and manufacturing capacity to produce protective equipment.

More than 30 NHS staff are believed to have died from coronavirus and campaigners say some of the deaths were a direct result of a lack of personal protective equipment, or PPE.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) think-tank last week suggested 25 per cent of the UK economy could be lost by the summer due to the current controls. 

According to the Times, Mr Sunak has told colleagues the consequences could be even worse with GDP falling by a third in the second quarter. 

Experts have said it is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty how quickly the PM could make a full recovery.

Duncan Young, professor of intensive care medicine at Oxford University, told The Times: ‘No one knows how long it takes to fully recover from Covid-19 infections because as yet it has not been studied.’

Meanwhile, Julian Tang, Honorary Associate Professor at the Department of Respiratory Sciences at the University of Leicester, said the speed of Mr Johnson’s recovery would be largely dictated by his overall health. 

The PM was effectively ‘stepped down’ from ICU and then allowed to go to Chequers but there are fears a lack of rest could result in him having to be ‘stepped up’ again. 

Dr Tang said: ‘There have been patients who later had to be stepped back up to intensive care again.’   

Mr Johnson said in a video statement released after he left hospital yesterday that the NHS ‘has saved my life, no question’.   

The PM said he believed ‘things could have gone either way’ for him as he praised the nurses and doctors who treated him. 

‘We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country,’ he said of the nation’s ongoing coronavirus battle.  

‘It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.’ 

Europe goes back to work: Millions of Spaniards are allowed to resume their jobs after industrial lockdown is lifted 

Europe is beginning its return to work today as factories and construction sites re-open in Spain while Italy takes its first steps towards easing the lockdown. 

Police were handing out masks on Spanish metro trains today as some ‘non-essential’ workers were allowed to resume their activities after a two-week ban.

Italy will allow bookshops, stationery shops and stores selling children’s clothes to re-open tomorrow in the first loosening of Europe’s longest lockdown, although most restrictions have been extended until May. 

Meanwhile in Denmark, schools and daycare centres will re-open on Wednesday, allowing some parents to return to work. 

Passengers keep their distance riding the metro in Madrid as non-essential workers are allowed back to work today

Passengers keep their distance riding the metro in Madrid as non-essential workers are allowed back to work today

Passengers keep their distance riding the metro in Madrid as non-essential workers are allowed back to work today

Spain is lifting its ban on non-essential business despite concerns from some regional leaders and trade unions.  

The ban was stricter than in Britain, where people can still go to work if they cannot work from home during the lockdown.  

The people returning today include sanitary, security and telecommunications workers, customs officials and those involved in gas and electricity supplies.  

They and their companies will have to adhere to strict regulations to make sure they don’t get infected by the virus. 

Non-essential workers had been sent home on March 30 but the Spanish government has not extended the measure despite a surge in new deaths yesterday.

Another 619 deaths were announced on Sunday, 109 more than on Saturday, putting an end to three days of declining deaths. 

It brought the country’s coronavirus death toll to 16,972, the third-highest in the world after the United States and Italy.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *