Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered more insight into his hospitalisation for coronavirus, telling a British newspaper that he knew doctors were preparing for the worst.
The 55-year-old Mr Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care during his week of treatment in a London hospital after falling ill with COVID-19, told The Sun newspaper he was aware that doctors were discussing his fate.
“It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it,” he said.
“They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.”
Mr Johnson couldn’t believe how quickly his health had deteriorated and had difficulty understanding why he wasn’t getting better.
Medical workers gave him “litres and litres of oxygen” but he said the “indicators kept going in the wrong direction”.
“But the bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe,” he told the newspaper.
“That was when it got a bit… they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”
The remarks were Mr Johnson’s most candid yet on his brush with death, though he acknowledged when he left the hospital that his fight to survive “could have gone either way”, as he paid tribute to the two nurses who never left his bedside for 48 hours.
Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma from Portugal, he said, embodied the caring and sacrifice of National Health Service staff on the front lines of the pandemic, which has already killed 28,131 people in Britain.
Mr Johnson’s close call is reflected in the name that he and fiancée Carrie Symonds gave to their newborn son.
Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson was named after Mr Johnson and Symonds’ grandfathers and after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors who saved the prime minister’s life.
Mr Johnson’s actions since leaving the hospital suggest the NHS has a powerful new advocate as it seeks to reverse a decade of austerity that has left Britain’s doctors and nurses struggling to treat the flood of coronavirus patients with inadequate supplies of protective gear. Dozens of NHS workers have died in the outbreak.
The interview follows an emotional video made by Mr Johnson after being released from the hospital on April 12.
Mr Johnson called the NHS “unconquerable” and “the beating heart of this country” after seeing its response to the outbreak firsthand. He also lauded the courage of everyone from doctors to cooks.
The prime minister returned to work on April 27.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
Apply safe food practices; and
Stay home if you are sick.
For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the9News appand set notifications to on at theApp StoreorGoogle Play.You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Playand theGovernment’s WhatsApp channel.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and are used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.