British PM Johnson back at Downing Street ‘after Covid-19 recovery’

Johnson will take back control of a govt under pressure from economic fallout of shutdowns aimed at curbing Covid-19


Reuters April 26, 2020
PHOTO: Reuters

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to 10 Downing Street on Sunday, Sky News reported, after spending a week in hospital with Covid-19 and two weeks recovering at his country residence.

A Downing Street spokeswoman declined to comment on Johnson’s whereabouts.

The government had previously announced he would be back at work on Monday. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for him in his absence, said Johnson was “raring to go”.

Johnson, 55, will take back control of a government under pressure from the economic fallout of shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the highly infectious virus, as well as a rising death toll.

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The official number of deaths related to Covid-19 in hospitals across the United Kingdom rose above 20,000 on Sunday, with the overall figure likely to be significantly higher once deaths in care homes and hospices are tallied.

Criticism is growing over the government response to the pandemic, with limited testing and shortages of protective equipment for medical workers and carers.

Johnson’s stand-in leader Dominic Raab has faced questions over how Britain will ease the lockdown without a deadly second wave of infections.

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Britain’s interior minister urged Britons to stick to the lockdown rules earlier on Saturday. But many lawmakers want restrictions to be eased to bolster the economy, which budget forecasters say could be heading into its deepest recession in more than 300 years.

Johnson was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in central London suffering from COVID-19 symptoms on April 5, and spent April 6-9 in intensive care.

 

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