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Covid-19: Boris Johnson says he’s in good spirits in hospital

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UK, EU, Trade
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “in good spirits” on Monday, following his hospital admission after failing to shake off symptoms of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms,” Johnson tweeted, 10 days after he tested positive for Covid-19.

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“I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe,” he wrote.

Johnson thanked “all the brilliant NHS (National Health Service) staff taking care of (him) and others in this difficult time.”

One of his ministers said earlier that Johnson remains “very much in charge” of the government and is expected to return to his Downing Street office soon.

“He’s been working extremely hard, leading the government and being constantly updated,” Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC.

Johnson, 55, was taken to hospital on Sunday for tests.

He experienced “persistent” mild symptoms, his office said, adding that his hospital admission was “a precautionary step.”

“Obviously today he’s in hospital having the tests but he will continue to be kept informed as to what’s happening and to be in charge of the government.

“I’m sure this is very frustrating for him, for somebody like Boris who wants to be hands-on running the government from the front, but nonetheless he’s still very much in charge of the government,” Jenrick told the broadcaster.

Downing Street said Johnson spent a “comfortable night” in hospital on Sunday but declined to comment on whether he had been given oxygen or had contracted pneumonia.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Johnson’s formal deputy, chaired a daily meeting on the spread of the coronavirus on Monday, while a planned cabinet meeting was postponed, reports said.

Britain had reported nearly 5,000 deaths from some 50,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases by Sunday, making it one of the worst-affected countries.

Government experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of people are infected.

Many health experts have criticized the government’s slow response to the crisis, the low level of testing for the virus and the poor provision of intensive care beds, ventilators and protective equipment.

Adding to the pressure on Johnson, some right-wingers in his ruling Conservatives have warned that Britain faces economic ruin unless it eases its near-lockdown soon.

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