UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘almost took one for the team,’ father says

(LONDON) — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson “almost took one for the team,” his father said, as the leader continues to recover from coronavirus in the hospital after a spell in intensive care.

Johnson was hospitalized 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus last weekend, and was moved to intensive care as his condition deteriorated on Monday. But the prime minister has now been moved back to the main ward at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, with Downing Street saying that the prime minister “will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery.”

And Johnson’s father, Stanley, told the BBC Friday that the prime minister must “rest up” before returning to lead the country.

“To use that American expression, he almost took one for the team,” Stanley Johnson said. He went on to say that while the prime minister is “not out of the woods yet,” his son’s diagnosing and hospitalization served an “amazing purpose… in a sense, it got the whole country to realize this is a serious event.”

The prime minister is in “extremely good spirits,” according to Downing Street.

Among the world leaders to welcome the news that Johnson had been moved out of intensive care was President Donald Trump.

“Great News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just been moved out of Intensive Care,” Trump posted on Twitter Thursday. “Get well Boris!!!”

As of Thursday afternoon, 65,077 have tested positive for coronavirus in the U.K., with 7,978 deaths, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Earlier this week, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) said there was no sign yet that the peak of the coronavirus outbreak had been reached, as several governments have hinted at the prospect of lockdowns being lifted in the coming weeks.

The man deputizing in the prime minister’s absence is Dominic Raab, the first secretary of state, who will lead the country for the time being. Raab has warned that the lockdown restrictions to ensure social distancing in the U.K. will remain in place, as the country heads to a holiday weekend with sunny skies and warm temperatures.

“After all the efforts everybody has made, after all the sacrifices so many people have made, let’s not ruin it now,” Raab said on Thursday.

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