British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, a week after he was admitted because he was suffering from coronavirus symptoms, Downing Street announced in a statement.
But his office said Johnson will not immediately return to work and will recover at Chequers, the prime minister’s official country residence north of London.
“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work,” the Downing Street statement said. “He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received. … All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”
Johnson said he owes his life to the hospital staff who cared for him during his week-long stay in the hospital.
In a video released on his Twitter page, Johnson said the National Health Service “has saved my life, no question.”
“It’s hard to find the words to express my debt. But before I come to that, I want to thank everyone in the entire UK for the effort and the sacrifice you have made and are making,” Johnson said on the video. “When the sun is out and the kids are at home; when the whole natural world seems at its loveliest and the outdoors is so inviting, I can only imagine how tough it has been to follow the rules on social distancing.”
He named names of those who helped him in the hospital and singled out two – Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal – for special praise, saying they stood vigil over him for 48 hours.
“The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed,” Johnson said.
His financee, Carrie Symonds, also thanked the hospital staff.
“There were times last week that were very dark indeed. My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones,” Symonds, who is pregnant, said on Twitter following Johnson’s release. “I cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough. The staff at St Thomas’ Hospital have been incredible. I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you.”
Johnson was taken to the hospital in Britain’s state-run National Health Service last Sunday after suffering from symptoms of the virus.
The 55-year-old prime minister on Monday was moved to the intensive care unit where he was put on oxygen. He was released from intensive care on Thursday and from the hospital on Sunday.
Following Johnson’s hospitalization, aides and ministers exchanged messages about his chances, saying “it’s 50-50,” the newspaper reported.
“I’m going to pray,” an aide said.
A day after being released from intensive care, Johnson was binge watching the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy on his iPad.
Britain has nearly 80,000 coronavirus cases. The death toll is 9,875.
With Post wires