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COVID-19 WATCH

Johnson out of COVID-19 intensive care

The government announced another 881 deaths on Thursday, taking the UK total to 7,978.

Agence France-Presse

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London, United Kingdom — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday left intensive care after three days of treatment for COVID-19, his office said.

“The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a statement said.

“He is in extremely good spirits,” it added.

The 55-year-old Conservative leader had received “standard oxygen treatment” after he was transferred to the intensive care unit at London’s St Thomas’s hospital on Monday, his spokesman said earlier.

While much of the focus in Britain has been on Johnson’s health, there is also concern over the numbers of people infected with the virus, with the government set to extend a lockdown implemented on March 23.

The government announced another 881 deaths on Thursday, taking the UK total to 7,978.

Senior ministers discussed the strict social distancing measures, initially planned for three weeks, during a daily coronavirus response meeting.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for Johnson, warned that the lockdown, which was to end on Monday, was not likely to be lifted imminently, saying “we’re not done yet, we must keep going.

“Deaths are still rising and we haven’t yet reached the peak of the virus, so it’s too early to lift the measures,” he said.

“We don’t expect to be able to say more on this until the end of next week,” he added.

Greater Manchester Police said Thursday it had to break up 660 parties last weekend.

Asked if the British government might give police extra powers during the lockdown, the Downing Street spokesman said: “For now our focus is on ensuring that the steps that we already have in place are properly enforced”.

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