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PM Johnson moved to intensive care as COVID-19 symptoms worsen

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UK PM Johnson, battling coronavirus, set for second night in intensive care

By William James and Costas Pitas

 

2020-04-07T155124Z_2_LYNXMPEG3601Q_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN-JOHNSON-INTENSIVECARE.JPG

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a joint statement with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) before a meeting on Brexit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

 

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to spend a second night in intensive care on Tuesday to help his fight against a coronavirus infection, as his designated deputy said he would pull through because "he's a fighter".

 

Johnson is receiving oxygen support but is stable, in good spirits and breathing without assistance, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in Johnson, adding that he had not needed mechanical ventilation.

 

"I’m confident he’ll pull through because if there’s one thing I know about this prime minister, he’s a fighter, and he’ll be back at the helm leading us through this crisis in short order," Raab told a daily news conference.

 

Johnson's personal battle with the virus has shaken the government just as the United Kingdom, now in its third week of lockdown, enters what scientists say will be the deadliest phase of its coronavirus epidemic, which has already killed at least 6,159 people.

 

Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital, across the River Thames from parliament, late on Sunday after suffering symptoms including a fever and a cough for more than 10 days.

 

His condition deteriorated, and he was moved on Monday to an intensive care unit in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.

In an update on Tuesday evening, his Downing Street office said he would remain there for close monitoring and no further update was expected before Wednesday.

 

Queen Elizabeth wished Johnson a full and speedy recovery and sent a message of support to his pregnant fiancée, Carrie Symonds, and his family, echoing warm words from the likes of U.S. President Trump and other world leaders.

 

Raab said: "He’s not just the prime minister and, for all of us in cabinet, he’s not just our boss, he’s also a colleague and he’s also our friend."

 

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday he was confident that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is in intensive care would pull through because "he's a fighter". Raab was clear to point out that the lifting of the UK's current lockdown restrictions would be evidence based, but that the stay at home message remains in place.

 

WHO LEADS?

However, the absence of Johnson, the first leader of a major power to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, has raised questions about who is truly in charge at such a crucial time.

 

Britain has no formal succession plan if a prime minister is incapacitated, and Raab, 46, said Johnson had asked him to deputise for as long as necessary. If Raab was incapacitated, finance minister Rishi Sunak would stand in, though ministers refused to say who now had ultimate control over Britain's nuclear weapons.

 

"I've got total confidence in the arrangements that the prime minister has put in place so that I can discharge responsibility for him, deputising for him while he's out of action, and obviously we hope that will be for a very limited period of time," Raab said.

 

He said decisions were being made collectively by the cabinet, a number of whom have also tested positive for the virus. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove was the latest to self-isolate.

 

Raab said ministers had "very clear directions, very clear instructions" from Johnson. It was not clear, though, what would happen if there was a major disagreement.

 

LOCKDOWN TO BE REVIEWED

The government is due to decide early next week whether to start easing a near-total economic and social lockdown meant to stem transmission of the virus.

 

Some ministers have suggested it should be extended, after seeing some people using sunny weather as an excuse to flout the rules. Raab himself said the government was not yet in a position to review the lockdown.

 

Britain's chief scientific adviser said it would be another week or so before it was clear whether the graph of new cases was flattening. Tuesday's daily death toll of 786 was the highest to date.

 

The pound <GBP=D3> dipped in Asian trading on news of Johnson's intensive care treatment but then rallied in London trading. Against the dollar, it ended the session up 0.9%. [GBP/]

 

Even before the coronavirus, Johnson had had a tumultuous year.

 

He won the top job in July 2019, renegotiated a Brexit deal with the European Union, resoundingly won a snap election in December and then led the United Kingdom out of the EU on Jan. 31 - promising to seal a new trade deal with the bloc by the end of this year.

 

The government has said it is not planning to seek an extension to that deadline in light of the epidemic.

 

Johnson has been criticised for initially approving a much more modest response to the coronavirus outbreak than other major European countries, though he then imposed a lockdown as projections showed half a million people could otherwise die.

 

(Additional reporting by Paul Sandle, Kylie MacLellan, Alistair Smout, Andy Bruce, Elizabeth Howcroft and Kate Kelland; Writing by Michael Holden, Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Angus MacSwan/Kevin Liffey/Mark Heinrich)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-08

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12 minutes ago, phantomfiddler said:

"already killed 6,159 people" !! Good God ! over 100 days this is 61 people dying per day ! You would think the author of this article might have the sense to mention that in life,s DAILY tapestry an average of 150,000 people die, yes, every day, and the great majority from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart, cancer etc. Absolute proof of scaremongering media 😞

Are you saying 150,000 people die every day in the UK?

A million a week! Blimey, that's one way to reduce house prices and rentals.

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11 minutes ago, phantomfiddler said:

"already killed 6,159 people" !! Good God ! over 100 days this is 61 people dying per day ! You would think the author of this article might have the sense to mention that in life,s DAILY tapestry an average of 150,000 people die, yes, every day, and the great majority from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart, cancer etc. Absolute proof of scaremongering media 😞

Tell me, why do zillions of folk worldwide have a flu jab....?

 

What would happen if many old folk did not have had that flu jab....?

 

What would happen if we had had a jab for Corvid19.....?

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3 hours ago, phantomfiddler said:

"already killed 6,159 people" !! Good God ! over 100 days this is 61 people dying per day ! You would think the author of this article might have the sense to mention that in life,s DAILY tapestry an average of 150,000 people die, yes, every day, and the great majority from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart, cancer etc. Absolute proof of scaremongering media 😞

Hard for anyone to keep a sense of perspective when the mass media abandons theirs.

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2 hours ago, superal said:

Agree however BJ is a VIP and although not on a ventilator his medical condition is being closely monitored by top doctors and he is in a position to have ventilation without a moments delay . 

It has been a very active and eventful 12 months or more for Boris who I think has been the most popular PM in the UK for quite some time . Even other opposing political leaders have sent there best wishes for a quick recovery but if he pulls through this he needs to slow down his workaholic  pace and maybe delegate a bit more .  All the best to Boris and get well soon . 

I'm sure he has the best of everything on hand in case he needs it. As the PM, he is especially protected in several ways, including his dedicated armed security and also the best medical support - Corbyn would have had the same if (God forbid) he had ever become PM - the ultimate case of RHIP (rank has its privileges). That's the way it is and the way it has to be. 

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5 hours ago, phantomfiddler said:

"already killed 6,159 people" !! Good God ! over 100 days this is 61 people dying per day ! You would think the author of this article might have the sense to mention that in life,s DAILY tapestry an average of 150,000 people die, yes, every day, and the great majority from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart, cancer etc. Absolute proof of scaremongering media 😞

You clearly don't understand numbers, do you? You don't average the total count by the number of days to get a number usable for anything. 100 days ago there were 0 deaths per day. Today 854 people died, and that number is increasing exponentially every day. Do I need to explain to you what exponentially means too?

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On 4/7/2020 at 5:06 AM, PatOngo said:

Now now girls! No scratching or hair pulling, OK!

Indeed ! Why can't those 2 meet up , have a quick bitch slap , handbags at 20 paces and get over it ?

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Baiting and bickering posts removed also the troll post that started it removed

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19 minutes ago, toofarnorth said:

Indeed ! Why can't those 2 meet up , have a quick bitch slap , handbags at 20 paces and get over it ?

Twenty paces should satisfy social distancing requirements but they will have to boil the handbags first and then throw them at each other. 

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