Coronavirus: PM ‘clearly on the mend,’ says Hancock


, Coronavirus: PM ‘clearly on the mend,’ says HancockImage copyright
Twitter/@BorisJohnson via REUTERS

Boris Johnson is “on the mend” after contracting coronavirus but his return to work is a matter for his doctors, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

This week Mr Johnson has spoken to the Queen and US President Donald Trump from Chequers, the PM’s country house.

President Trump described the prime minister as sounding “ready to go”.

However, he is said not to be undertaking official work and No 10 played down reports that he could return to work on Monday.

Mr Johnson tested positive for the virus on 27 March and was later admitted to hospital, spending three nights in intensive care.

Speaking after he had been discharged, he said “it could have gone either way” and thanked the NHS staff who had cared for him.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been deputising for the prime minister while he recuperates.

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Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hancock said Mr Johnson was “cheerful and ebullient” but added he “has to be better” before returning to work.

And a No 10 source, responding to press reports he will be back at work next week, said: “The PM will follow his doctor’s advice and it is unhelpful to speculate at this stage.”

Asked about the PM’s health at a White House briefing on Thursday, Mr Trump said he was “actually surprised” at how “incredible” the PM sounded during their phone call.

“He was ready to go. I’m very surprised to tell you this. He’s like the old Boris – tremendous energy, tremendous drive,” the president said.

Cummings ‘collapsed’

The prime minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings has returned to work in Downing Street, after recovering from the disease.

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PA Media

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Dominic Cummings returns to work in Downing Street

Mr Cummings’ wife, journalist Mary Wakefield, has described how he collapsed and then couldn’t get out of bed for ten days.

Ms Wakefield said Mr Cummings had rushed home to look after her when she began showing signs of the virus.

“He’s an extremely kind man, whatever people assume to the contrary,” she wrote in the The Spectator.

“But 24 hours later, he said ‘I feel weird’ and collapsed.”

She said he was more badly affected by the disease than her, adding: “He lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.

“He could breathe, but only in a limited, shallow way.”

Social distancing

She also described how their four-year-old son Cedd “administered Ribena with the grim insistence of a Broadmoor nurse” to his father.

Mr Cummings was photographed walking along Downing Street on Friday morning, alongside his assistant Cleo Watson.

Asked why Mr Cummings was not observing the two metre social distancing rule, the prime minister’s official spokesman said Downing Street staff endeavoured to follow the guidance wherever possible.

“He is back in Number 10 and working today,” the spokesman said.

“Everybody in Number 10 continues to practise social distancing, which means staying two metres apart wherever possible”.



BBC News

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