British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on the road to recovery at a London hospital ward, taking short walks after he tested positive for the coronavirus, Downing Street has said.
Meanwhile, it also emerged on Sunday that puzzles, sudoku, and films are keeping the UK prime minister occupied while he remains under close monitoring by the medical staff at St. Thomas' Hospital in London.
The Prime Minister has been able to do short walks, between periods of rest, as part of the care he is receiving to aid his recovery, a Downing Street spokesperson said on Friday evening.
He has spoken to his doctors and thanks to the whole clinical team for the incredible care he has received. His thoughts are with those affected by this terrible disease, the spokesperson said, adding that only a single daily health update would now be provided from the hospital.
The Sunday Times' quoted sources as saying that Johnson, 55, was making good progress and had been watching films in his hospital bed and doing sudoku. The films being named among his choices include the Lord of the Rings' trilogy and British comedy Withnail and I'.
Downing Street has not confirmed if Johnson had been allowed any visitors or seen Carrie Symonds, his heavily pregnant fiance, but said he had received many thousands of get-well cards.
There are boxes and boxes in his outer office. They are really lovely and come from people of all ages and all over the country. I think when he sees them he will be tremendously grateful for everyone's kind wishes, the source told the newspaper.
On Friday, the UK prime minister's father, Stanley Johnson, had urged his son to rest up as he expressed the family's relief over his recovery.
This is pretty straightforward now. He must rest up. As I understand it, he has moved from the ICU into a recovery unit but I don't think you can say this is out of the woods now," he said.
He has to take time. I cannot believe you can walk away from this and get straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment.
Boris Johnson had revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis over two weeks ago when he went into self-isolation at his Downing Street flat. However, his condition worsened last weekend when he was taken to hospital and then shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) earlier this week, when he asked UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputize for him.
After three nights in ICU, Downing Street said he had been moved out to the ward in the early stages of his recovery from the deadly virus. British government officials and ministers have constantly referred to him as being in very good spirits throughout the hospitalization process, during which he required standard oxygen treatment and did not need the help of a ventilator for his breathing used for the most serious cases of COVID-19.
The UK government has, meanwhile, urged the British public to stay at home and continue to observe strict social distancing over the Easter weekend period as another record of 980 daily fatalities took the country's death toll from coronavirus up to 8,958 on Friday.