British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has released an impassioned speech thanking the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) just hours after being discharged from a London hospital and days after leaving intensive care for treatment of persistent coronavirus symptoms.
Johnson spent three nights in an intensive care unit at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital after his health declined and was today released after just a week.
“It’s hard to find word to express my debt.
“In the last seven days I have, of course, seen the pressure that the NHS is under. I’ve seen the personal courage, not just of the doctors, the nurses, but of everyone – the cleaners, the cooks, the health care workers of every description, physios, radiographers, pharmacists who’ve kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept risking this deadly virus.
“It is thank to that courage, that devotion, that duty and that love that our NHS has been unbeatable.”
Johnson mentioned by name several nurses who had watched over him all night to ensure he survived his coronavirus symptoms.
“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,” he said in the video
“They are Jenny from New Zealand – Invercargill on the South Island to be exact – and Luis from Portugal, near Porto.”
“For every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring, making the interventions I needed,” Johnson said.
A Downing Street spokesman today confirmed Johnson will continue his recovery at Chequers, the country house of the Prime Minister north-west of London.
On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work,” a statement said.
“He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received.
“All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”
In the online address today, Johnson also offered his thanks to the people of the UK for their obedience toward social distancing restrictions during the nation’s current lockdown – which has lasted for more than three weeks.
“So many millions and millions of people across this country have been doing the right thing. Millions are going through the hardship of self isolation faithfully, patiently and with thought and care for others as well as for themselves,” he said.
“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.
“Although 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’re 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.
“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.”
The 55-year-old conservative politician, who was hospitalised last Sunday running a high fever, spent three days in the intensive care unit after his health deteriorated.
He was moved back to a normal ward on Thursday.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is currently in charge of running the British government, with aides reportedly expecting Johnson to be out for as long as a month.
Johnson’s discharge also comes after his half-brother described his medical treatment before going to hospital last week as “shambles”.
“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,” Max Johnson said about the time his brother spent in self-isolation.
“He’d tested positive so there was no doubt what he was dealing with. The word ‘shambles’ comes to mind.
“What’s the point of bodyguards when you can’t have a doctor? The Office of Prime Minister needs better protection.”
Nearly 79,000 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and at least 9785 people have died from the strain.
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