The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been discharged from hospital after a bout of COVID-19 which landed him in the intensive care unit(ICU) of a London hospital.
Mr Johnson who is now convalescing at his official country residence, spent three days in ICU.
In an address on Easter Sunday, he said there was a critical period during his hospitalisation “when it could have gone either way”.
The Prime Minister showered praise on the National Health Service(NHS) for his medical care and its stellar work in this time of national crisis.
But more importantly, his address focused on his first-hand experience of the life-saving care he received from those who are described as the UK’s front line in the fight against COVID-19.
“In the last seven days I have of course seen the pressure that the NHS is under.
“I have seen the personal courage not just of the doctors and nurses but of everyone, the cleaners, the cooks, the health care workers of every description - physios, radiographers, pharmacists - who have kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm’s way, kept risking his deadly virus,” he said.
Mr Johnson was taken to hospital after his condition worsened 10 days following his diagnosis with the virus.
He had gone into isolation and was working from home away from his partner Carrie Symonds who is seven months pregnant and to whom he is engaged.
She has also been self-isolating with flu-like symptoms indicative of COVID-19. However, it’s reported that she has not been tested.
While in hospital, the Prime Minister further deteriorated and was placed in ICU where he spent three days.
He was not placed on a ventilator.
In his video address on Sunday after he had left London’s St Thomas’ Hospital, Mr Johnson said:
He added: “I want to pay my own thanks to the utterly brilliant doctors, leaders in their fields, men and women but several of them for some reason called Nick, who took some crucial decisions a few days ago for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life.
"I want to thank the many nurses, men and women, whose care has been so astonishing.”
The 55-year-old Mr Johnson will spend some time recuperating.
A separate statement from the Prime Minister Office, No. 10 Downing St said:
"On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. 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 Mr Johnson’s absence, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been at the helm of the British government.
Mr Johnson who is expected to be out of office for at least another month appealed to the public to adhere to the present lockdown regulations in the UK.
“When the sun is out and the kids are at home; when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing."
His address was punctuated throughout with praise for the NHS.
The ‘free-at-the-point-of delivery’ health service is not only at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 in the UK, but its funding is a perennial political issue.
Even now at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, the funding of the NHS and how that is impacting its ability to lead the battle against the outbreak in the UK is at the forefront of political discourse.
According to Prime Minister Johnson in his statement on Sunday: “We are 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.”
“It is thanks to that courage, that devotion, that duty and that love that our NHS has been unbeatable.”